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Full text of "Contributions to the ecclesiastical history of the United States of America"

' -^c 'JI. 

I PRINCETON, N. J. <Jf 



Purchased by the 
Mrs. Robert Lenox Kennedy Church History Fund. 



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CONTRIBUTIONS 



ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY 



UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 



BY FRANCIS L. HAWKS, 

RECTOR or ST. THOMAs' CHURCH, N K W-Y O B K. 



VOL. I. 



NEW-YORK: 
PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, 

NO. 82 CLIFF-8TRBKT. 

183 6. 



[Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1835, 

By Francis L. Hawks, 
in the Clerk's Office of ihe Southern District of New-York.] 



NARRATIVE OF EVENTS 



CONNECTED WITH THE 



RISE AND PROGRESS 



PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH 



IN VIRGINIA, 



TO WHICH IS ADDED AN APPENDIX, CONTAINING THE JOURNALS 
OF THE CONVENTIONS IN VIRGINIA FROM THE COM- 
MENCEMENT TO THE PRESENT TIME, 



NEW-YORK: 

PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, 

NO. 82 0LIFF-9TRBET. 

1836. 



TO THE 

RIGHT REVEREND WILLIAM WHITE, D.D., 

Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocess of Pennsylvania, 

and Senior Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the 

United States. 



Right Reverend and Dear Sir, 

If it were in my power to consult my brethren of the 
clergy, I am sure that all would name you as the individual 
to whom a work, concerning any part of the Protestant 
Episcopal church in this country should most properly be 
inscribed. To this consideration of propriety, allow me 
to add, that /, at least, find another in the ready kindness 
and advice with which you have furthered my purposes, 
and encouraged my efforts in the prosecution of this work. 

I beg leave, therefore, to offer it as the humble tribute 
of affectionate respect justly due to one who for more than 
half a century has watched the progress of the church in 
America ; and who to the piety which becomes a prelate 
adds the learning of a scholar, and the courtesy of a gen- 
tleman. 

With affectionate veneration, 

I am, sir, your grateful friend and servant, 

The Author. 



PREFACE. 



It is now more than five years since the author of this 
work undertook, with the aid of a valued friend,* the task 
of collecting such fragments of the history of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal church in the United States as, having 
escaped the ravages of time, were to be found among the 
manuscripts of the earlier clergy, or rested in the less se- 
cure repository of the memory of the aged. 

Encouraged in the undertaking by many of the bishops 
and clergy of the church, the plan originally proposed was, 
to preserve in the form of annals the facts thus saved from 
oblivion, for the benefit of some future historian who might 
attempt a connected narrative of events, believed to pos- 
sess some interest, at least for Episcopalians. After some 
progress had been made in the work, and materials, both 
more numerous and more valuable than had been antici- 
pated, had accumulated on the hands of those who had 
undertaken the task — death removed the colleague of the 
author, and he was left to pursue alone a work which, in 
addition to the interest it had for him, afforded also a 
melancholy pleasure by often recalling the memory of a 
buried friend. 

It was not until some time afterward, that it occurred 

* The Rev. Edward Rutledge of South Carolina. 



Vlll PREFACE. 

to the writer, that his labour might prove more acceptable 
to the members of the communion to which he belonged, 
should he attempt himself the narrative which he had 
hoped might at a future period proceed from some pen 
more fitted for the task than his own. He, accordingly, 
(not, however, without some distrust of himself,) selected 
Virginia as being the oldest state in the Union, and the 
result is in the reader's hands. Had he supposed that he 
was adding nothing to what already existed touching the 
history of his country, it would have been his duty to be 
silent ; for he who publishes a book can justify it to a 
becoming sense of modesty only by the hope that he is 
communicating something which is new, or happily en- 
forcing something which is old. The author, therefore, 
ventures to hope that in this contribution to the Ecclesias- 
tical History of the United States, (as yet an almost un- 
trodden field,) he has performed a work not entirely use- 
less. That it has faults, no one knows better than he who 
wrote it ; that it contains errors, is not improbable ; for 
in the labour of research, which it will here be seen has not 
been small, it is scarcely possible always to avoid mis- 
take : for the faults, the author begs indulgence ; and of 
the errors, if such there be, he can only say they were 
undesigned. 

It was impossible to write upon the subject treated of 
in the following pages, without sometimes adverting to 
religious denominations different from that to which the 
author belongs. There were events affecting the Episco- 
pal church in Virginia, in which they were actors, and a 
regard for truth required the notice of them. 



PREFACE. IX 

A Protestant Episcopalian, not merely from the preju- 
dices of early education, but from the deliberate examina- 
tion and conviction of his riper years, it is not improbable 
that the author's affection for the faith of his fathers may 
sometimes be seen. Of the peculiarities of his creed, he 
will here only say, that he has not sought unnecessarily to 
obtrude them ; and as little has he endeavoured to keep 
them out of sight. It may be (for he claims no exemption 
from the infirmities of human nature) that, however anx- 
ious to eradicate prejudice, he has not always succeeded in 
the effort to do so; he has, however, endeavoured to speak 
of that church, which he does not hesitate to say he loves 
best, with an impartiality too proud to cover up its faults, 
and an honesty too stern to hide its delinquencies. That 
church has sometimes erred, and the author has said so. If 
he knows his own heart, he never had in view, in his work, 
an object so contemptible as that of writing eulogy under 
the guise of history. His wish has been to tell the truth 
as far as he could discover it; and if in doing this, a blow 
fell, it mattered but little to him where it alighted. But 
he owes it to himself to add, that he has uniformly spoken 
of other religious denominations with respect; for he freely 
owns that the love of his own religious system does not, 
to his mind, impose upon him the necessity of haling 
either the persons or the creeds of others. He may la- 
ment what he deems their mistakes, and yet hopes to be 
pardoned, should he doubt whether insult be their best 
corrective. He would rather burn his book than wilfully 
inflict a wanton injury upon the personal feelings of any 
sincere Christian : and if he has incautiously so done in 

B 



X PREFACE. 

these pages, he here humbly begs forgiveness of God and 
of the injured. 

A word more as to his plan. The present volume is 
an experiment. Should it succeed, and the life of the 
writer be prolonged, it will be followed by others ; for 
there are materials on hand to furnish a volume for each 
of the older diocesses. Indeed, with respect to some of 
them, the story is partly written ; whether it will ever be 
published, depends less upon the author than upon others. 
Another motive for sending forth this volume now, is to be 
found in the fact, that it has recently been made the duty 
of the author, by the church to which he belongs, to collect 
and preserve all that he can, tending to illustrate any por- 
tion of its history. He has, therefore, hoped that by bring- 
ing before his brethren a specimen, exhibiting the nature 
of the task in which he is engaged, some among them may 
be induced to furnish information, and thus contribute ma- 
terials for future volumes. 

He need not add, that for all such aid he will feel most 
grateful. Should he thereby procure nothing more than 
copies of the early journals of the several diocesses, a 
work of some importance will be accomplished. Very 
few, if any, complete sets of diocesan convention journals 
arc now in existence ; the author, therefore, considers the 
appendix, containing the records of the Virginia church, 
(which he has here reprinted, at the request of many of 
his brethren,) as not the least useful part of this book. 
The Episcopalian of Virginia, has in the volume all that 
industrious research was able to collect concerning the 
history of his own church. Should another edition ever 



PREFACE. XI 

be called for, the kindness of his Virginia brethren may 
enable the author to make a book more worthy of their 
acceptance. 

In conclusion, the author would remark that his labours 
in preparing this book, have shown him that the materials 
are more ample than they are generally supposed to be, 
for the history of all the leading religious denominations in 
the United States. Something has, indeed, been done for 
American ecclesiastical history, but more remains to be ac- 
complished ; and, therefore, he would respectfully suggest 
to his fellowChristiansof other denominations, the propriety 
of preserving their several histories, without which the 
book of our national story must always be incomplete.* 

* The principal works upon the subject are as follows : Among the 

Baptists. — Benedict's History of the Baptists ; Semple's History of the 
Virginia Baptists ; Backus's Church History of New-England ; and the 
late Memoir of Roger Williams, by Professor Knowles. 

Methodists. — The Journals of Mr. Asbury and Dr. Coke ; the several 
Lives of Messrs. Wesley and Coke, with the minutes of conferences. 

Presbyterians and Congregationalists. — Fragments of the history of 
these denominations are to be found in several books. The minutes of many 
of the presbyteries are believed to be perfect, and probably those of the synods 
are. The late Ebenezer Hazard, Esq., who was well qualified for the task, 
commenced, with the sanction of the Presbyterian church, the collection of 
materials for a history of that denomination, but it was not completed, nor 
is there any regular history of the Presbyterians in the United States. The 
materials however are abundant. The ecclesiastical history of Massachu- 
setts is to be found among the valuable papers published by the Massachusetts 
Historical Society; an institution, whose example is worthy of imitation. 

Reformed Dutch. — The author knows of but little in print touching this 
denomination, except in the periodical publications which belong to it. 

Protestant Episcopal. — There is nothing in print, with the exception 
of Bishop White's Memoirs, (a new edition of which is now in press,) and 
the Journals of the General and Diocesan Conventions. 



XU PREFACE. 

If the effort now respectfully submitted to the public, 
and especially to the Episcopal community, should serve 
in the humble office of a guide, to direct the researches of 
some future historian ; if it should contribute to strengthen 
the attachment of but one man who already loves the 
church, or to soften the hostility of one who does not, 
the author will feel that he has not laboured in vain : for 
his book is the offering of filial affection to that church, in 
the communion of which he has, through life, found his best 
comfort, and in the bosom of which he trusts to enjoy, in 
death, a Christian's consolation. 

New-York, December, 1835. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

1G06-1618. 
The Kev. Mr. Hunt, one of the first Colonists — His Prudence, Piety, and 
Christian Temper — First Adniinistralion of the Sacrament in Virginia — 
First Church at James Town ; Destruction by Fire — First recorded Mar- 
riage in the Colony — Church placed under Martial Law — Second Church 
at Henrico — Rev. Mr. Whitaker ; his Character; "The Apostle of Vir- 
ginia" — Baptism and Marriage of Pocahontas — Character of the first 
Clergymen — Instance of the Influence of the Clergy . . .17 

CHAPTER II. 

1619-1624. 

First Legislature of Virginia — Establishment of the Church — Whole Num- 
ber of the Clergy — Encouragement to Emigration of Ministers — Efforts 
in behalf of Education — Henrico College — East India School — Plans de- 
feated by Indian Massacre — Chanco, a converted Native ; his Christian 
conduct — General Character of the Clergy — Legislature of 1624 — Laws 
made for the Advancement and Permanency of the Church . . 34 

CHAPTER III. 

1628-1651. 

Visit of Lord Baltimore — Refuses to take Oath of Supremacy — Witchcraft 
— Tyranny of the Governor — Stephen Reek's Case — Missionaries from 
the Independents of New-England — Driven away by Act of Conformity 
— Kicfht of Presentation and Induction — Loyalty of Virginia — Attachment 
to the Church — Banishment of Mr. Harrison, a Congregational Minister 
— Subjugation of Virginia to the Commonwealth . . . .46 

CHAPTER IV. 

1651-1693. 

Introduction of Puritans— Hatred of Puritanism — Reproved by Cromwell — 
Virginia throws off obedience to the Commonwealth — State of the Church 



XIV CONTENTS. 

in 1661 — Bad Character of many of the Clergy — Legislation of 1662 — 
Intolerance towards Quakers — Conspiracy of Puritans — Dread of Popery 
— The Rev. Dr. Blair, first Commissary — His Character and Ijabours — 
Establishment of William and Mary College 60 

CHAPTER V. 

1700-1731. 
Kindness to the French Refugees — Their good Character — Their Church 
— Punishment of Vice and Blasphemy — Kindness to German settlers — 
Their Church — Progress of William and Mary College — Instruction of 
the Indians — List of Parishes — State of the Church — Numbers and Char- 
acter of the Clergy — Causes of the depressed state of Religion exam- 
ined 78 

CHAPTER VT. 

1731-1746. 

Introduction of Presbyterians — Visit of Mr. Whitfield — Low state of Re- 
ligion — EfTorts of Morris to revive it — His Character and Conduct — 
Amusing example of his Simplicity and Ignorance — Charge of the Gov- 
ernor to the Grand Jury against Presbyterians — Mr. Roan's Case — Help 
from Synod in New-York — Rev. Samuel Davies ; his Character and La- 
bours — Act of Toleration extended to Virginia — Dread of Popery and 
New Lights — Commencement of struggle with Dissenters — Morgan 
Morgan 99 

CHAPTER VII. 

1748-1771. 
Lawsuit, Legislation fixing Clergyman's Right to Glebes — State of the 
Clergy — Substitution of Money for Tobacco in paying Clergy — Difficul- 
ties thence arising — Injustice to Clergy — Appearance of Baptists — Their 
bitter Enmity — Great Question of the legality of paying the Clergy in 
Money — Suit to settle it — Mr. Henry ; his first Appearance — Question 
settled against the Clergy — EfTorts in Virginia to obtain the Episcopate 
— Opposed by some of the Clergy — Their Conduct approved by the Le- 
gislature 114 

CHAPTER VIII. 

1772-1778. 
Appearance of the Methodists — Their adherence to the Church — Conduct 
of the Episcopal Clergy in the Revolution — Many of them Whigs — Some 
become Officers in the Continental Army — Conduct of the Baptists at 
breaking out of the Revolution — Petitions of Presbyterians, Baptists, and 
others against the Church — Counter Petitions — Act of 1776 destroying 



eONTE^TS. XV 

Establishment — Distress of the Clergy — Their Treatment — Legislative 
Proceedings of 1777 and 1778 — Ordinations by the Methodists, con- 
demned by Mr. Asbury . 132 

CHAPTER IX. 

1779-1784. 
General Assessment for support of the Clergy negatived — Disastrous Effects 
of the Revolution upon the Church — Enemies of the Church petition for 
a general Assessment — Legislative sanction to the principle that Chris- 
tianity should be supported by the State, but not any particular Denomi- 
nation — Mr. Henry's efforts — His Christian Character — Incorporation of 
the Church — History of the Secession of the Methodists — Mr. Wesley's 
Conduct — Consecration of Dr. Coke considered .... 150 

CHAPTER X. 

1784-1789. 
Enmity of Presbyterians and Baptists to the Church — Act for establishing 
religious Freedom — Mr. Jefferson — Mr. Madison's Memorial — First Con- 
vention of the Church in 178.5 — Address of the Convention to Church- 
men — Means proposed for support of the Clergy — Canons of the Church 
— Discipline — Church in Virginia declines receiving Holy Orders from 
Denmark — First General Convention ; Virginia represented there — Con- 
duct of Virginia Church on the proposed Articles of Union — Instruction 
to Virginia Delegates to General Convention of 1785 — Baptists and Pres- 
byterians ask for the Property of the Church — " The proposed Book" — 
Articles of Religion — Decision of Virginia on " The proposed Book" and 
Articles — Dr. Griffith elected first Bishop of the Church in Virginia — 
Mistake concerning his Election rectified — Instructions of Virginia Con- 
vention to Delegates to General Convention of 1780 — Repeal of the Act 
of Incorporation — General Conventions of 1786 — Proceedings of Virginia 
thereon — Remedies adopted to supply the want of Act of Incorporation — 
Address of the Convention of 1787 to the Church — Dr. Griffith not con- 
secrated — Causes thereof — Early efforts of Virginia in behalf of Clerical 
Education — Case of Discipline ....... 172 

CHAPTER XI. 

1789-1794. 

Resignation of Dr. Griffith — Poverty of the Church — Death and Character 
of Dr. Griffith — Election of Dr. Madison to the Episcopate — Struggles 
concerning the Church Property — Condition of the Church at the time of 
Dr. Madison's Consecration — Bishop Madison's first Address — Clerical 
Education — Canon compelling the Bishop to hold a Parish — Prevalence 
of Infidelity and Fanaticism — Disastrous consequences to Religion after 



18 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CIIURCU [1606. 

not now be known with certainty : it is probable, however, 
that it was not without its weight; as we find him, on the 
19th of December, 1606, embarking for Virginia with the 
leaders of the infant colony about to be planted under the 
auspices of the newly formed Company. And fortunate was 
it for the enterprise that such was the case. An unhappy 
jealousy arising between the individuals who were to com- 
pose the council of the colony threatened ruin to the whole 
undertaking, until the prudent conduct and pious exhorta- 
tions of Mr. Hunt succeeded in allaying their mutual ani- 
mosity. It is but justice to the memory of this worthy 
man to state, that scanty as are the materials from which 
to form an estimate of his character, enough is still recorded 
to show that it was one of which no clergyman need to be 
ashamed. His heart was in the business, and he wanted 
not resolution to accomplish the object. "On the 19th of 
December, 1606," (says one who bore a part in the enter- 
prise,) " wee set saile, but by vnprosperous winds were 
kept six weekes in the sight of England ; all which time, 
Mr. Hunt, our preacher, was so weake and sicke that few 
expected his recourie ; yet, although we were but ten or 
twelve miles from his habitation, (the time wee were in 
the Downes,) and notwithstanding the stormy weather, 
nor the scandalous imputation (of some few little better 
than atheists, of the greatest rank amongst us) suggested 
against him, all this could never force from him so much as 
a seeming desire to leaue the businesse, but preferred the 
seruice of God, in so good a voyage, before any affection 
to contest with his godlesse foes, whose disastrous designs 
(could they have prevailed) had euen then ouerthrowne the 
businesse, so many discontents did then arise, had he not 
with the water of patience and his godly exhortations 
(but chiefly by his true deuoted examples) quenched those 
flames of enuy and dissension."* 

* 4 Purchas's Pilgrims, p. 1705. 



1606.] IN VIRGINIA. 19 

Not an incident is related of him which does not illus- 
trate the possession of a Christian spirit. The whole- 
some influence by which he was enabled to control the 
angry passions of his companions, was probably founded in 
their respect for his consistent piety : and as we hear of 
no efforts made to enrich himself in the colony, it is not 
difficult to believe that his emigration resulted from an 
honest desire to supply the ministrations of the gospel to 
the destitute and benighted. This, it should be recollected, 
was one of the avowed objects expressed in the king's in- 
structions to the Company, " That the said presidents, coun- 
cils, and the ministers should provide that the true word 
and service of God be preached, planted, and used, not 
only in the said colonies, but also as much as might be 
among the savages bordering upon them, according to the 
rites and doctrines of the Church of England." Indeed, by 
those who made the first efforts to colonize Virginia, the 
diffusion of Christianity was always held forth as one of 
the objects of the enterprise. As far back as 1588, when 
Sir Walter Raleigh made an assignment of his patent to 
Thomas Smith and others, he accompanied it with a dona- 
tion of one hundred pounds, " for the propagation of the 
Christian religion in Virginia."* It was also enjoined in 
the royal instructions, issued in 1606, "that all persons 
should kindly treat the savage and heathen people in those 
parts, and use all proper means to draw them to the true 
service and knowledge of God."t And the first charter 
assigns as one of the reasons for the grant, that the contem- 
plated undertaking was " a work which may, by the provi- 
dence of Almighty God, hereafter tend to the glory of his 
divine majesty, in propagating of Christian religion to such 
people as yet live in darkness and miserable ignorance of 
the true knowledge and worship of God."J 

* Burk's Hist, of Virginia, vol. i. t 1 Charter — 1 Hazard's State Pa- 
p. 66. pers, 51. 

t Ibid. p. 91. 



20 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1607. 

On the 26th of April, 1007, the little fleet of three ships 
entered the Chesapeake ; and on the 13th of May the 
colonists landed. Upon a peninsula which projects from 
the northern shore of James River may still be seen the 
ruins of a tower which once formed part of a Christian 
church ; and this, with its surrounding graveyard, is now 
almost the only memorial left to mark the site of what 
once was James Town. Here it was that the emigrants 
debarked, and on this ground was erected the first church 
in Virginia. Scarcely, however, had the colonists landed, 
before the pious interposition of Mr. Hunt again became 
necessary to appease the animosity of the president of the 
council and the celebrated Captain Smith. His effort 
proved successful. Smith was received into the council ; 
and on the 14th of May partook, with his rival, of the 
sacrament of the Lord's Supper, which was then adminis- 
tered for the first time in Virginia. James Town was the 
first permanent habitation of the English in America ; and 
Virginia commenced its career of civilization with one of 
the most impressive solemnities of the Christian church. 

To trace the gradual progress of this little band of pio- 
neers, in the establishment of a colony which " grew up in 
misery," might aflford matter of painful interest ; but it 
comports not with the purpose of this narrative to allude 
to any transactions in the infant settlement, other than those 
which are connected with the condition and progress of 
the church. The piety of the emigrants, stimulated by the 
exhortations of their teacher, led to the almost immediate 
erection of an edifice, humble, indeed, as were the rude 
habitations by which it was surrounded, but hallowed as 
the place dedicated to the worship of the Almighty. A 
few months only had elapsed before a fire accidentally 
commencing in the storehouse, speedily communicated to 
the other buildings of the village, (for the whole town was 
thatched with reeds,) and the church shared in the common 
calamity. The incident served to bring out into bolder 



1608.] IN VIRGINIA. 21 

relief the Christian virtues of the worthy clergyman. Mr. 
Hunt had taken with him his library, which, though not 
large, was, under the circumstances, doubly valuable ; and 
this, together with every thing he had, was consumed. 
With the church destroyed and the town in ashes, with- 
out a shelter for his head or clothing for his nakedness, 
deprived of a source of enjoyment which the man of books 
knows how to appreciate, and with the sorrows and suffer- 
ings of his fellow-creatures to excite his warmest sympa- 
thies, it would not have been wonderful had the weakness 
of human nature been heard in the murmurs of despon- 
dency ; but no groan escaped him. Disease also was 
added to the list of afflictions ; for between the months of 
May and September no less than one-half o^ the colonists 
died ; and yet it is recorded of this excellent man that he 
never was heard to repine,* but, meeting with a submissive 
and cheerful spirit these successive visitations of Provi- 
dence, he encouraged his drooping companions ; and sup- 
ported by the persevering energy of Captain Smith, the 
true father of Virginia, he exhorted the wavering and com- 
forted .the despairing; so that in the spring of 1608 he 
found the reward of his labours in the town rebuilt and the 
church restored.! 

Of such a man, it is natural to lament that more is 
not known. How long he lived in the colony, is a 
point on which there exists no certain information. But 
little trace has been found of Mr. Hunt after this period ; 
it is known, however, that he never left Virginia : he 
literally gave his life to the cause in which he had 
embarked.J Had nothing more been related of him 
than that he was twice able to reconcile the discords of 
angry rulers, without being claimed as a partisan by either, 

* Stith's Virginia, 59. ters of New-England, or anywhere," 

■f Ibid. 76. &c. Mass. Historical Collections, 

t Captain John Smith's "Adver- vol. iii. series 3. 
tisements for the inexperienced Plan- 



22 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [iGlO. 

he would have left behind him a reputation becoming the 
minister of Him who said, " Blessed are the peace-makers." 
But though more cannot with certainty be affirmed of the 
conduct of Mr. Hunt, the conjecture is not improbable that 
he lived for some time in the colony, and that the first 
recorded marriage in Virginia was solemnized by him.* 
It was in the year 1608 that a white woman was first 
seen in the colony ; and the historians of that day relate 
the fact of her marriage soon after her arrival. f 

The next record with which we meet of the presence of 
a clergyman in the colony is found in the history of the 
providential arrival of Lord De la War at the moment when 
the inhabitants had embarked for England, with a determi- 
nation to forsake the country for ever. The circumstances 
which prompted the colonists to this abandonment form a 
sorrowful page in the early history of Virginia. When the 
four small vessels in which they had embarked fell down 
James River with the tide, it is recorded that " none 
dropped a tear, because none had enjoyed one day of 
happiness." Famine had done its fearful work so eflfectu- 
ally, that in the short space of six months five hundred 
had been reduced to sixty; and the horrors of this eventful 
period of suffering were for years remembered and per- 
petuated in the expressive phrase, *' The starving time." It 
was on the 10th of June, 1610, that Lord De la War ar- 
rived ; he had brought with him a chaplain ; and the inci- 
dents which immediately followed his landing are best re- 
lated in the language of an eyewitness, whose narrative 
has been preserved by Purchas : " We cast anchor before 
James Towne, where we landed ; and our much grieved 
governour first visiting the church, caused the bell to be 
rung, at which all such as were able to come forth of their 
houses repayred to church, where our minister. Master 
Bucke, made a zealous and sorrowfull prayer ; finding all 

* Sec Holmes's Annals, vol. i. p. t Beverly's Hist, of Virginia, 19; 
132, note 1. 1 Holmes's Annals, 133. 



1611.] IN VIRGINIA. 23 

things so contrary to our expectations, so full of misery 
and misgovernnnent."* 

Up to the tinfie of Lord De la War's arrival, the colony 
had been governed by a president and council. In 1609 
the Company in England had obtained from the king an- 
other charter, by which the form of government was in 
some measure altered, and the affairs of the colony placed 
under the direction of certain officers, to be elected and 
sent out by the Company. And it is worthy of note that 
such was the dread of popery, that it was declared in the 
new charter that no person should pass into Virginia but 
such as should first have taken the oath of supremacy.f 
Under the new charter. Lord De la War was chosen to be 
the first governor of Virginia, an officer before unknown 
in the colony; and under his judicious direction affairs 
were soon re-established. 

This change in the government, from an aristocracy to 
the dominion of one, is mentioned, because, prior to this 
time, there does not seem to have been any interference by 
the Company in England with the religious affairs of the 
colony. The adventurers were left to their own sense of 
piety and the instructions of their spiritual teachers, as 
being sufficient to prompt them to a proper care of the insti- 
tutions of religion ; and nothing more definite had been 
said than that the exercise of Christianity in the New 
World should conform to the rites, ceremonies, and doc- 
trines of the Church of England. But after this period 
we find more specific instructions sent from the mother 
country; and religion began to form one of the subjects 
of the very imperfect legislation of the Company for their 
distant colony. The ill health of Lord De la War was such 
that in a few months he was obliged to leave his govern- 
ment in the hands of a substitute, until the 10th of May, 
1611, when Sir Thomas Dale, the new governor, arrived. 

* 4 Purclias, book ix. chap. vi. f 2(1 Charter, 1 Hazard's State 

Papers, 72. 



24 PnOTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1611. 

The arrival of this individual marks the period at which 
penal laws were first introduced to aid the colonists in 
keeping a good conscience. The readers of the present 
day will be tempted to smile on learning that the church 
was laid under martial law : yet such was literally the 
fact. 

The difficulties which had embarrassed the progress of 
the colony were supposed by the Company, and truly sup- 
posed, to consist principally in a spirit of insubordination 
and indolence ; and by way of remedy for these evils, more 
rigour both in the enactments and execution of the laws 
was deemed necessary. At that time Sir Thomas Smith 
had a controlling influence in the aflfairs of the Company; 
and, as it would seem, ventured, upon his own responsi- 
bility, to furnish the new governor with a body of " Lawes, 
diuine, morall, and martiall," for Virginia.* They were 
chiefly translated from the martial laws of the Low Coun- 
tries, and were entirely at variance with the spirit of Eng- 
lish liberty. The church was provided for in this singular 
code of bloody enactments ; but it is due both to the govern- 
ors and governed to state, that on the one hand there was 
as little disposition to enforce, as on the other there was to 
submit to the penalties of the code. It was, in truth, though 
formally promulgated, a dead letter ; and to the honour of 
the London Company and their colonists, it should be men- 
tioned that, during their government, not a solitary instance 
is recorded of a persecution for mere difference of opinion. 
The penalties incurred for the non-observance of religious 
duties were never rigidly enforced ; and the power to re- 
mit them entirely, which belonged to the governor and 
council, was not unfrequently exercised.f These laws, so 
far as the church is concerned, are subjoined ; and if, in 
their perusal, the reader should find cause for thankfulness 
that he lives in an age when the true principles of Christian 

* Stilh's Virginia, 122; 1 Burk'y t 1 Burk, Appendix, 304. 
Virginia, 165. 



1611.] m VIRGINIA. 25 

liberty, and the rights of conscience arc better understood 
than they were in the days of our forefatiiers, their publica- 
tion will not be useless. 

I. " I do strictly commaund and charge all captaines and 
officers, of what qualitie or nature soever, whether com- 
manders in the field, or in tovvne, or townes, forts, or for- 
tresses, to have a care that the Almightie God bee duly 
and daily served ; and that they call vpon their people to 
heare sermons ; as that also they diligently frequent morn- 
ing and evening praier themselves, by their own exemplar 
and daily life and duty herein encouraging others there- 
unto ; and that such who shall often and wilfully absent 
themselves, be duly punished according to the martiall law 
in that case provided. 

II. " That no man speake impiously or maliciously against 
the holy and blessed trinitie, or any of the three persons ; 
that is to say, against God the Father, God the Son, and 
God the Holy Ghost ; or against the known articles of the 
Christian faith, upon pain of death. 

III. " That no man blaspheme God's holy name, upon 
paine of death ; or vse vnlawful oathes — taking the name 
of God in vaine, curse or banne — vpon paine of severe 
punishment for the first offence so committed, and for the 
second to have a bodkin thrust through his tongue ; and if 
he continue the blaspheming of God's name, for the third 
time so offending he shall be brought to a martiall court, 
and there receive censure of death for his offence." 

V. •' No man shall speake any word, or do any act, 
which may tend to the derision or despight of God's holy 
word, upon paine of death. Nor shall any man vnworthily 
demeane himselfe vnto any preacher or minister of the 
same, but generally hold them in all reverent regard and 
dutifull intreatie ; otherwise he, the offender, shall openly 
be whipt three times, and aske public forgiveness in the 
assembly of the congregation three severall Saboth daies. 

VI. " Eucric man and woman duly twice a day, upon 

D 



26 PftOTESTAiNX iiPISCOPAL CllUKCII [1611. 

the first tovvling of the bell, shall vpoii the working dales 
repaire vnto the church to heare diuine service, vpoii paine 
of losing his or her daye's allowance for the first omission ; 
for the second to be whipt ; and for the third to be con- 
demned to the gallies for six months. Likewise, no man 
or woman shall dare to violate or breake the Sabboth by 
any gaming, publique or private, abroad or at home, but 
duly sanctifie and obserue the same, both himselfe and iiis 
familie, by preparing themselues at home by priuatc 
praier, that they may bee the better fitted for the publique, 
according to the commandments of God and the orders of 
our church ; as also euerie man and woman shall repaire 
in the morning to the diuine service, and sermons preached 
vpon the Saboth dale, and in the afternoon to diuine service 
and catechising; vpon paine for the first fault to lose their 
prouision and allowance for the whole weeke following ; 
for the second to lose the said allowance, and also to be 
whipt ; and for the third to suiier death. 

VII. " All preachers or ministers within this our colonic 
or colonies, shall in the forts where they are resident, after 
diuine seruice, duly preach euerie Sabboth dale in the fore- 
noone, and catechise in the afternoone, and weekly say the 
diuine seruice twice euerie day, and preach euerie Wednes- 
day; likewise euerie minister, where he is resident, within 
the same fort or fortresses, towne or townes, shall chuse 
vnto him foure of the most religious and better disposed, 
as well to informe of the abuses and neglects of the people 
in their duties and seruice to God, as also to the due rep- 
aration and keeping the church handsome, and fitted with 
all reuerent obseruanccs thereunto belonging ; likewise 
euerie minister shall keep a faithfull and true record or 
church booke of all christenings, marriages, and deaths of 
such our people as shall happen within their fort or for- 
trcssc, towne or townes at any time, vpon the burthen of a 
neglectful! conscience, and vpon })ainc of losing their cnlcr- 
lainmcnt." 



inil.] IN vmoiNiA. 27 

XXX IH. "There is not one man nor woman in this 
colonie now present, or hereafter to arriue, but shall giuo 
np an account of his and their faith and religion, and re- 
paire vnto the minister, that by his conference with them 
he may vnderstand and gather whether heretofore the}'- 
luave beene sufficiently instrvcted and catechised in the 
principles and grounds of religion: whose weakness and 
ignorance herein, the minister finding and aduising them 
in all love and charitie to repaire often vnto him to receive 
therein a greater measure of knowledge ; if they shall re- 
fuse so to repaire vnto him, and he the minister giue notice 
thereof vnto the governour, or that chiefe officer of that 
towne or fort wherein he or she, the parties so oflonding, 
shall remaine, the governour shall cause the offender for 
the first time of refusal to be whipt ; for the second time 
to be whipt twice, and to acknowledge his fault vpon the 
Sabboth daie in the assembly of the congregation; and for 
the third time to be whipt euerie day vntil he hath made 
the same acknowledgment, and asked forgiuenesse of the 
same ; and shall repaire vnto the minister to be further in- 
structed as aforesaid : and vpon the Sabboth, when the min- 
ister shall catechise and of him demande any question con- 
cerning his faith and knowledge, he shall not refvse to make 
answer vpon the same perill."* 

There never will be wanting men who will advocate 
the doings of those in authority, and there is therefore no- 
thing to excite surprise in the compliant sycophancy of a 
writer of that day wlio could approve of the merciless 
severity of a code so cruel that it was never enforced. 
" Good," says he, " are these beginnings wherein God is 
thus before ; good are these laws, and long may they stand 
in their due execution."t 

* " For the colony In Virginea t " The new liife of Virginin, de- 

Brittannia ; Lawes Diuine, Morall, daring the former services and pres- 

and Martiall," <Stc. London, 1012. ent estate of that plantation," &c. 

Colie4;ted and published by Willinm London, 1G12. 
Slrachey. 



28 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [IGll. 

Under the administration of Sir Thomas Dale, the colony 
began to extend itself upon James River; and the moment 
the arrival of Sir Thomas Gates, the new governor, left 
him at liberty, Dale carried into effect his favourite project, 
and built the town of Henrico, the ruins of which it is be- 
lieved are still visible.* In this town a handsome church 
was erected in lGll,and the foundation of another was 
laid, to be built of brick. The care of the congregation 
was confided to the Rev. Alexander Whitakcr, who en- 
closed a hundred acres of land, and built a parsonagc.f 
This, it is supposed, was the second parish established in 
Virginia : and it may, perhaps, be deemed not unworthy 
of remembrance that the deservedly celebrated princess 
Pocahontas received Christian baptism at the hands of Mr, 
Whitaker, and was also united by him in marriage to Mr, 
Rolfe. 

It would be unjust not to subjoin to the name of this 
clergyman his character as sketched by a contemporar3^ 
" I hereby let all men know that a scholler, a graduate, a 
preacher, well borne and friended in England ; not in debt 
nor disgrace, but competently provided for, and liked and 
beloved where he lived ; not in want, but (for a scholler, 
and as these days be) rich in possession, and more in possi- 
bilitie ; of himself, without any persuasion (but God's and 
his own heart,) did voluntarily leave his warme nest ; and, 
to the wonder of his kindred and amazement of them that 
knew him, undertooke this hard, but, in my judgement, 
heroicall resolution to go to Virginia, and hclpc to heare 
the name of God unto the gentiles "X 

What would have been the emotions of this devoted 
missionary, when he admitted Pocahontas to baptism, could 
he have foreseen that, after the lapse of more than two 

* Sec 1 Burkp, 166. ' entitled " GooJ Nevvos from Vir- 

t Slith, 124. Smith, Hist, of Vir- ginia, sent to the Counscll and Com- 

ginia. Ricliinond ed. vol. ii. p. 12. pany of Virginia, resident in Eng- 

I " Epistle Dedicatorie," by W land. From Alexander Whitaker, 

(Jrashawe, to a liook written in 1613, the minister of Henrico in Virginia." 



ICll.] IN vmaiNiA. 29 

Jiundred years, the blood of this noblc-liearted Indian 
maiden would be flowing in the veins of some of the most 
distinguished members of that church, the foundations of 
which he was then laying? 

If Virginia was fortunate in the possession of such a 
clergyman as Mr. Hunt, she was not less favoured in 
having the ministrations of Mr. Whitaker. The eulo- 
gium just quoted is not to be classed with the effusions 
of a too partial friendship ; the subject of that eulogium 
acquired for himself the honourable title of "T/«e Aposlle 
of Virginia."* He was the son of the celebrated Dr. 
William Whitaker, Master of St. John's, Cambridge ;t 
and there is exhibited in such of the letters of this young 
missionary as have come down to our day, a noble spirit 
of devotedness to his work. In one of his epistles, advert- 
ing to the want of clergymen in the colony, he thus ex- 
presses his feelings : " I maruaile much that any men of 
honest life should feare the sword of the magistrate, which 
is unsheathed only in their defence. But I much more 
muse that so few of our English ministers, that were so hot 
against the surplice and subscription, come hither, where 
neither are spoken of. Doe they not either wilfully hide 
their tallents, or keepe themselves at home for feare of 
losing a few pleasures ? Be there not any amongst them 
of Moses his minde, and of tfie apostles that forsooke all to 
follow Christ ? But I refer them to the Judge of all hearts, 
and to the King that shall reward every one according to 
the gaine of his tallent. But you, hold fast that which you 
iiave ; and I, though my promise of three yeeres' seruice to 
my countrey be expired, will abide in my vocation here 
untill I be lawfully called from hence. And so betaking 
us all unto the mercies of God in Christ Jesus, I rest for 
ever."J In another of his letters he again expresses his 
surprise that so few were found ready to afford ministeria 

' Life of Nicholas Ferrar, p. 40, 1 Purchas, book \x. ch. 11 

t 4 Purchas's Pilgrims, 1770. 



30 PROTESTANT EPISCOrAL CnURCII [IGII. 

aid : " I wonder that so few English priests, who were first 
so warm in liaving the books of Moses and the apostles, 
do not assist us more, that all may follow the gospel of 
Christ."* 

The cry for help which came from this devoted mis- 
sionary was but the echo of that which had issued from the 
friends and originators of the Virginia colony. There is 
reason to fear that injustice has long been done to Virginia 
in the prevalence of an opinion that religion was but little, 
if at all, regarded by those who planted the colony: it is 
time that such an opinion should be corrected. There is 
extant an eloquent and spirit-stirring appeal, put forth by 
the council of Virginia, which will yield to no similar pro- 
duction of later times ; it is full of the genuine spirit of 
Christian missions. 

" O, all ye worthies, follow the ever-sounding trumpet 
of a blessed honour; let religion be the first aim of 
your hopes, et catera adjicientur, and other things shall 
be cast unto you : your names shall be registered to 
posterity with a glorious title. These are the men whom 
God raised to augment the state of their country, and 
to propagate the gospel of Jesus Christ. Neither ought 
any man to live under Augustus as if he lived under 
Domitian, quihtis inertia est pro sajnentia: to whom slug- 
gishness and privacy is imputed for wisdom and policy. 
The same God that hath ioyned three kingdoms under 
one CiRsar, will not be wanting to add a fourth, if wee 
would dissolve that frosty icinessc which chilleth our zeal, 
and maketh vs so cold in the action. But it is a meere 
idea, speculation, and fancy to sowe spareingly, and yet 
expect for to reape plentifully; when a penurious supply 
is like the casting on of a little water upon a great fire, that 
quencheth not the heat, but augments it : when procrasti- 

* Correct Description and Situa- the council under Lord De ia War. 
tion of the Colony of Virginia, by 4 Piirchas, 1754. 
Ralph Hamer. Hanier was clerk of 



1613.] IN VIUGUilA. 31 

Hating delays and lingering counsels doc lose the opor- 
tunity of Hying time; whereby we rather bewray our 
colonic than relieve it. Let no man adore his gold as his 
God, nor his mammon as his Maker. If God have scat- 
tered his blessings upon you as snow, will you return no 
tributary acknowledgments of his goodnesse ? If you will, 
can you select a more excellent subject than to cast down 
the altars of diuels, that you may raise up the altar of 
Christ ; to forbid the sacrilice of men, that they may ofter 
up the sacrifice of contrite spirites ; to reduce barbarisme 
and infidelity to ciuill gouernment and Christianity ? Si 
frigido loquor, nihil loquor ; if 1 speake to men void of 
piety, I speake but the words of wind and vanity ! other- 
wise, how doth that man groan under the world's corrup- 
tion, that doth not actually or vocally hasten the world's 
conversion. Doubt ye not but God hath determined and 
demonstrated that he will raise our state, and build his 
church in that excellent climate, if the action be seconded 
with resolution and religion."* 

These words, uttered more than two hundred years 
ago, have found a blessed fulfilment; verily, God has built 
"his church in that excellent climate:" let not the agents 
who commenced the work be pronounced destitute of 
religion. 

Among other changes introduced by Sir Thomas Dale, 
during his short administration, was one, the beneficial 
eflects of which were soon apparent. Up to the year 
1G13, there had been no such thing in the colony as dis- 
tinct and exclusive property. Each individual put the 
fruits of his labours into a common stock, which ministered 
to the necessities of all. f But now a certain quantity of 
land, fit for cultivation, was allowed to each man ; and a 
portion of its fruits was received as rent. New settle- 

* " A True Declaration of the Ed- Council of Virgiuid." London, 1610. 
talc of the (lolony of Virginia. I'ub- f .Slith, 131. 

lisUcd by advice and dijecliou of llie 



32 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [l6l8. 

ments were multiplied as fresh emigrants came over, and 
the colonists themselves began to make efforts to procure 
clergymen. 

Sir Thomas Gates returning to Europe in 1613, the 
government again devolved upon his predecessor, Sir 
Thomas Dale, who, after an administration of three years, 
also went home, leaving his power in the hands of George 
Yeardly. During the last administration of Dale, the in- 
creased security given to property, and the more certain 
discovery of the real advantages of the country, imparted 
a fresh impulse to emigration, and the new-comers were 
numerous. As they arrived, they formed distinct settle- 
ments, and laid the foundation of new parishes ; and 
though it is now impossible to trace with accuracy the 
order of their respective establishments, we know that 
at Henrico the Rev. Mr. Wickham was the clergyman, 
Mr. Whitaker was at Bermuda Hundred, and Mr. Bucke 
at James Town;* and the fact is sulliciently attested, that 
the number both of churches and clergymen had increased 
with the growth of the country. It will presently be seen 
that the latter were not without influence in the affairs of 
government. In May, 1017, Captain Argall arrived from 
England, clothed with the authority of deputy governor. 
He had lived in the colony before, and therefore was not 
ignorant of that singular code, '* divine, morall, and mar- 
tiall," from which an extract has already been presented. 
He is charged by the historians of that period with a 
determination to gratify his rapacity and injustice at the 
expense of the colony; and therefore he eagerly converted 
these laws into an instrument for obtaining his ends. In 
revising his code, he did not neglect the work of legislation 
for the church; and, accordingly, in 1018, we find him 
promulgating "that every person should go to church, 
Sundays and holydays, or lye neck and heels that night, 
and be a slave to the colony the following week ; for tiic 

* rmchas's Pilgrimage, p. 017. 



1618.] IN VIRGINIA. 33 

second offence, he should be a slave for a month ; and for 
the third, a year and a day."* 

In the same year occurred an incident which illustrates 
that influence of the clergy to which allusion has been 
made. Captain Argall had taken the servants of Lord De la 
War from his estate, and employed them on his own lands, 
without the slightest authority for so doing. Captaiu 
Brewster, who was the agent of Lord De la War, ordered 
one of the servants to return ; and on receiving a flat re- 
fusal, threatened the delinquent with the consequences of 
his insubordination. Argall was informed of the threat, 
and Brewster was arrested, tried by a court martial, and 
condemned to death on a chareje of uttering against his 
commander seditious words, tending to a mutiny. This 
act of tyranny seems to have roused the colonists to re- 
monstrance. The martial laws were odious, and the 
present was a favourable opportunity for protesting against 
their severity. The court, by which Brewster was tried, 
waited in a body on the deputy governor to intercede for 
the life of the prisoner ; and they summoned to their aid all 
those of the clergy who could be readily convened ; these 
promptly answered the summons, and presented themselves 
also before the tyrant, to supplicate mercy for the unhappy 
Brewster. Argall, however much disposed to gratify his 
malignity, was alarmed, it is supposed, by the weight of 
character of those who thus protested against his iniquity, 
and yielded at length to their intercession. And this 
transaction, furnishing to Brewster, on his return to Eng- 
land, a theme for indignant expostulation with the Com- 
pany, probably led to the entire disuse of the bloody code, 
secured to the colonists the privileges of Englishmen living 
under English law, and released at once both church and 
state from the tyranny of martial rules. 

* Stith's Virginia, 147 ; 1 Burk's Virginia, 195. 



34 PIIOTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [IG19. 



CHAPTER II. 
1619-1624. 

First Legislature of Virginia — Establishment of the Church — Whole Num- 
ber of the Clergy — Encouragement to Emigration of Ministers — Efforts 
in behalf of Education — Henrico College — East India School — Plans de- 
feated by Indian Massacre — Chanco, a converted Native ; his Christian 
conduct — General Character of the Clergy — Legislature of 1624 — Laws 
made for the Advancement and Permanency of the Church. 

The year 1619 is memorable in the annals of Virginia, 
as being the period at which a legislative body, taken from 
among the inhabitants, convened for the first time in the 
colony.* The tyranny of Argall was not permitted to 
continue long. Advised by private letters that his official 
conduct was about to be made the subject of rigid scrutiny 
by a new governor, clothed with authority for that pur- 
pose, he precipitately left the colony, and in this year was 
succeeded by Sir George Yeardly. The colony, it will 
be remembered, was still under the control of the Com- 
pany in England ; and as upon the representations of 
Brewster, they had decided, with but one dissenting 
voice, against the enforcement of martial law in a time 
of peace, it became necessary to make provision for the 
government of Virginia under some milder code. The 
new governor, therefore, brought with him a new charter ; 
by which, among other matters, it was provided that the 
clergy should have in each borough a glebe, to consist of 
one hundred acres, and should receive from the profits of 
each parish a standing revenue, to be worth at least two 
hundred pounds. 

The population was increased by the introduction of 

* 1 Hening's Virginia Statutes, at large, 119. 



1619.] IN VIRGINIA. 35 

one thousand new settlers ; and there had been no previous 
period, in the history of the colony, when its affairs were 
in a more prosperous condition. Under these auspicious 
circumstances, the governor called an assembly, which 
met at James Town. It consisted of " two burgesses 
chosen for every town, hundred, and plantation ;" and 
from the number of representatives, the fact is gathered 
that the colony then consisted of eleven corporations. 

Among the first enactments of the legislature were those 
which concerned the church. The general provisions of 
the charter, which have already been mentioned, were im- 
bodied in a statutory form ; and it seems probable that the 
mode of obtaining the competent support which was thus 
granted, was also the subject of enactment. Tobacco was 
the chief article of produce ; and the dues of the minister 
were paid for the most part in that commodity. In the 
legislature of 1621-2, it was enacted that each clergyman 
should receive from his parishioners fifteen hundred pounds 
of tobacco and sixteen barrels of corn. Ten pounds of 
tobacco and one bushel of corn were the utmost that any 
individual could be compelled to pay: and to this assess- 
ment every male inhabitant, who had reached the age of 
sixteen, was liable. And if this levy should prove unequal 
in value to two hundred pounds, the law proceeded to 
declare that " the minister was to be content with less."* 

Up to this period the inhabitants of the colony had 
always been attached to the Church of England. There 
is reason, however, to believe that about this time a small 
number of puritans sought refuge in the colony ;f but it 
was too inconsiderable to introduce any change in the 
religious opinions of the people, and public worship con- 
tinued to be conducted, as it always had been, in con- 
formity with the ritual of the Church of England. That 
church, however, could not claim for itself the privileges 

♦ Stith's Virginia, 173; Beverly's t 1 Graham's Hist, of the United 
Virginia, 36. States, 219. 



36 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1619. 

of an estahlishment, in Virginia, prior to the legislation of 
1619; for the general declaration contained in the charter 
of James, that the mode of worship in the intended colony 
should conform to that of the EngUsh church, simply im- 
posed a duty, but conferred no temporal benefit. It is from 
this period, therefore, that we are to date the establishment 
of the Episcopal Church in Virginia ; and at this time the 
whole colony contained but five clergymen ;* who are be- 
lieved to have been Messrs. Whitaker, Stockham, Mease, 
Bargave, and Wickham. This scarcity of clergymen in- 
duced the Company to encourage the emigration of minis- 
ters by directing six tenants to be placed on every glebe, 
for the purpose of making it an immediate source of reve- 
nue : and the then Bishop of London undertook to exert 
himself to procure suitable clergymen to settle in the 
colony.f Whether this circumstance gave rise to the 
jurisdiction of the prelate of that see over the American 
church prior to the revolution, is not known ; but this, it is 
believed, is the first instance in which his connection with 
the church on this continent is mentioned in history. 

The importance of education, as intimately connected 
with the preservation and dissemination of Christianity, 
also seems to have been impressed at an early period on 
the minds of the members of the Company. The king 
(probably at the solicitation of the Company) had, prior to 
this time, issued his letters to the several bishops of the 
kingdom for collecting money to erect a colkge in Vir- 
ginia. The object of this measure, when first adopted, 
was stated to be " the training up and educating infidel 
children in the true knowledge of God."J Nearly fifteen 
hundred pounds had been obtained for carrying into effect 
this benevolent design ; and Henrico had been selected as 
the site of the proposed seminary. The Company, at the 

♦ Chalmer's Political Annals, b. i. t Sllth, 173. 

p. 50. t Ibid. 162. 163 



1619.] IN VIRGINIA. 37 

suggestion of its treasurer, now granted ten thousand acres 
of land to be laid off for the new " University of Henrico ;" 
and the original design was enlarged by a resolution to 
make the seminary a school for the English as well as for 
the natives.* Of the eleven corporations, already men- 
tioned as being represented in the first assembly, four had 
been recently created, and among them was the univer- 
sity; and for the management of its lands, which had been 
thus granted by the Company, two agents were sent over 
by that body. 

Under the care of these agents, added to that of Mr. 
George Thorpe, a very respectable and pious man, whose 
benevolent exertions for the intellectual and spiritual im- 
provement of the natives entitle him to honourable remem- 
brance, the college lands were brought into cultivation ; 
and the flattering appearance of affairs held forth to the 
inhabitants the prospect of education for their children, and 
of clergymen from the college who, though ordained in 
England, would still be sons of the colony, acquainted with 
its habits, and familiar with its wants. 

So far as the church alone was concerned, had there 
been nothing more in view, the establishment of Henrico 
University was a measure full of wisdom. Experience 
would seem to intimate to the church in America that, 
though united throughout the confederacy by a common 
bond, yet the different portions of that church must, for 
the most part, respectively depend, for a permanent supply 
in the ministry, upon those, who having been born within 
certain territorial limits, are therefore bound by strong local 
attachments, constitutionally adapted to the peculiarities of 
climate, and familiar with national habits and feelings. 

The interest felt in the mother country, in the prosperity 
of the college, was attested by many donations, amono- 
which is recorded one of a thousand pounds, by the Bishop 

* 1 Holnies'8 Annals. 157. 



38 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CUURCH [1621. 

of London. An unknown friend, also, sent many excellent 
religious works, and a very valuable map of the American 
coast ; from another was received " a communion cup, 
with a cover and case, a trencher plate for the bread, a 
carpet of crimson velvet, and a damask tablecloth for the 
college." The solicitude felt for the salvation of the na- 
tives was exhibited in a gift of five hundred pounds from 
some person unknown, to maintain and educate in Chris- 
tianity young Indians ; and three hundred pounds were 
left to the college by the will of Mr. Nicholas Ferrar, for 
the same pious object.* At home, also, the college found 
liberal friends. The Rev. Mr. Bargave, who was then the 
minister at Henrico, gave his library, and the inhabitants 
of the place made a contribution of fifteen hundred pounds 
to build a hostelry for the entertainment of strangers and 
visiters.f 

The efforts in the cause of education were not limited, 
however, to the establishment of the university. Such an 
institution of learning would be of little value without the 
aid of a preparatory school ; and for the introduction of 
this, the colony was indebted to the exertions of a clergy- 
man. 

In 1621, an East India ship having returned to England 
from India, the crew were prevailed upon, by the represen- 
tations of their chaplain, the Rev. Mr. Copeland, to con- 
tribute seventy pounds towards building a church or free- 
school in the colony of Virginia : to this, one unknown 
benefactor added thirty pounds, and another twenty-five 
pounds. It was determined by the Company to apply 
these gifts to the erection of a free-school. Charles City 
was selected as its site, being the spot most convenient 
to all parts of the colony; and in commemoration of the 
circumstances in which it originated, it was called the 
East India School. Nor was the Company less attentive 

• Stith, 172, 173 t I Holmes'. Annale, 173. 



1G21.] IN VIRGINIA. 39 

to its interests than to those of the college ; they allotted 
for the maintenance of the master and usher one thousand 
acres of land, with five servants and an overseer. The 
school was to have dependance on the college, into which, 
as soon as it should be sufficiently endowed and fit for the 
reception of students, pupils were to be admitted from the 
school, and advanced according to their proficiency in 
learning.* 

It cannot, therefore, with propriety be charged upon 
either the Company or the colonists that they were un- 
mindful of the importance of education to the advance- 
ment of Christianity and the prosperity of the little com- 
munity. And it is but justice to the good men of a former 
age to record this instance of their pious zeal, in the effort 
which they made to cause God's " way to be known upon 
earth," his " saving health among all nations." 

Sir George Yeardly having expressed a wish to retire 
from the office of governor, in 1621 Sir Francis Wyatt was 
appointed to succeed him ; and it is to be presumed that the 
enactments of the legislature of 1619 had not been carried 
into full effect ; for in the instructions of the Company to 
the new governor, he was directed " to take into especial 
regard the service of Almighty God and the observance 
of his divine laws, and that the people should be trained up 
in true religion and virtue. And since their endeavours 
for the establishment of the honour and rights of the church 
and ministry had not yet taken due effect," the Company 
required of the governor and assembly " to employ their 
utmost care to advance all things appertaining to the order 
and administration of divine service, according to the form 
of the Church of England ; carefully to avoid all factious 
and needless novelties, which only tended to the distur- 
bance of peace and unity ; and to cause that the ministers 
should be duly respected and maintained, and the churches 

• Stith, 204; 1 Holmes, 173. 



40 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1621. 

or places appointed for divine service decently accommo- 
dated, according to former order in that behalf."* 

The spiritual good of the natives seems also to have 
been an object of deep solicitude ; for in the same body of 
instructions, the Company pressed upon the governor and 
assembly, in a particular manner, " the using all probable 
means of bringing over the natives to a love of civilization, 
and to the love of God, and his true religion." To this 
purpose a pious example among the English in their own 
persons and families was strongly recommended ; and the 
employment of the natives as labourers for hire was di- 
rected, to familiarize them to the customs of civilized life, 
and thus gradually to bring them to a knowledge of Chris- 
tianity, that they might be employed as instruments "in 
the general conversion of their countrymen, so much de- 
sired." It w^as also recommended " that each town, 
borough, and hundred, should procure, by just means, a 
certain number of Indian children, to be brought up in the 
first elements of literature ; that the most towardly of these 
should be fitted for the college, in building of which they 
purposed to proceed as soon as any profit arose from the 
estate appropriated to that use ; and they earnestly re- 
quired their earnest help and furtherance in that pious and 
important work ; not doubting the particular blessing of 
God upon the colony, and being assured of the love of all 
good men upon that account."f 

But these prosperous beginnings and commendable 
efforts were destined soon to be entirely defeated by 
causes from which no danger was apprehended. The 
whites (ever since the marriage of Pocahontas) had lived 
on terms of amity with the natives, nor had anything of 
recent date occurred to interrupt the harmony. The 
peace existing between the parties was the result of solemn 
treaty, and repeated assurances to the English of entire 

• Stilh, 194; 1 Ilenings'u Stat- t 1 liurk, 225, 226. 

utes, at large, 1 14. 



1622.] IN VIRGINIA. 41 

friendship on the part of their savage neighbours com- 
pletely disarmed suspicion. " Sooner shall the sky fall," 
said the wily Indian chief, " than the peace shall be vio- 
lated on my part." But in the midst of all these profes- 
sions, a conspiracy, consisting of no less than thirty Indian 
nations, was for nearly four years maturing its plans for 
the utter extirpation of the English at a single blow ; and 
its proceedings were marked by that characteristic cunning, 
and consummate duplicity so well understood by him who 
has studied the savage of North America. Not a word 
was said, nor a sign given, which could betray the secrets 
of the confederacy ; and of all the thirty nations, not a, 
single Indian was found for four years to violate his en- 
gagements. They kept their counsel but too well for the 
unfortunate colony ; for, on the 22d of March, 1622, hordes 
of savages burst upon the unsuspecting and defenceless 
whites, and, involving in indiscriminate slaughter all whom 
they met, without distinction of age or sex, in the short 
space of one hour, murdered no less than three hundred 
and forty-seven men, women, and children. The attack 
was made simultaneously at thirty-one different settle- 
ments, and of the labourers on the lands of the college, 
seventeen were slain. The inhabitants who escaped 
sought of course the protection of James Town, where 
the governor concentrated the remains of the colony; the 
plantations were abandoned, and to the horrors of massacre 
were soon superadded the miseries of famine. Of eighty 
plantations which were advancing to completion, eight 
only remained ; and of twenty-nine hundred and sixty in- 
habitants, eighteen hundred were all that were left.* These 
survivors turned their thoughts on vengeance towards 
their foes, and the affairs of the college were forgotten. 

* "A declaration of the state of infidels upon the English, the 22d of 

the colony and affairs in Virginia, March last," p 13. Purchas, book 

with a relation of the barbarous mas- ix. eh. xv. ; 1 Burk, 240 ; 1 Holmes's 

sacre in the time of peace and league, Annals, 178 
treacherously executed by the native 



42 PllOTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1622. 

The massacre of Opecancanough thus gave a death-blow 
to the first efforts made in America for the establishment 
of a college, and years elapsed before the attempt was 
renewed. 

As connected with the slaughter of the whites, an inci- 
dent occurred which should find a place in this narrative, 
because it affords proof of the success with which the 
clergy of the colony had laboured for the conversion of 
some, at least, of the heathen around them. The preserva- 
tion of that portion of the colony which escaped, was 
owing solely to the affection and fidelity of a Christianized 
native. This Indian, by name Chanco, lived with Richard 
Pace, and was beloved by his master with an affection at 
once Christian and parental. 

On the night preceding the massacre, the brother of 
Chanco slept with him, and enjoining secrecy, communi- 
cated to him the intended massacre, with a command from 
his chief Opecancanough, that he should murder his master. 
The grateful Indian, immediately on his brother's depar- 
ture, hastened to Pace, and disclosed what had been com- 
municated to him. His master knew him too well to 
doubt his information for a moment, and instantly, before 
day, repaired to the governor at James Town, which, with 
the adjoining settlements, was put in a posture of defence, 
and so escaped the threatened ruin. " And thus," says a 
contemporary, who furnishes this account, "the rest of the 
colony, that had warning given them, by this means was 
saved. Such was (God be thanked for it) the good fruit 
of an infidel converted to Christianity; for though three 
hundred and more of ours died by many of these pagan 
infidels, yet thousands of ours were saved by the means of 
one of them alone which was made a Christian."* 

It has been remarked,bya European annalist,t that "the 
emigrants, notwithstanding the humane instructions of their 

• 4 Purchae, p. 1790; 1 Burk, t Chalmers, b. 1.58. 

t42. 



1022.] IN VIRGINIA. 43 

sovereign, and the prudent orders of the Company, had 
never been solicitous to cultivate the good-will of the 
aborigines." However true this assertion may be in 
many instances, it is gratifying to find, in the history of 
Chanco, that it is not true in all. A reflection here 
presents itself, not unworthy of a passing notice. We 
have now twice seen the colony saved through the agency, 
direct or indirect, of the clergy. In the commencement 
of the enterprise, the piety of Mr. Hunt was exerted to ap- 
pease the quarrels of the rival leaders of the colony; and 
it was the Christianity taught by the clergy which induced 
the native convert to become an inmate, an affectionate 
servant, and a Christian friend in the habitation of an Eng- 
lish settler. That Christian friendship saved the colony 
from destruction. It will not, therefore, be deemed rash 
to conclude that the clergy were not the most useless mem- 
bers of the infant settlement ; and that they did not de- 
serve to be so considered is attested by a modern historian, 
who, while he sneers at Christianity, yet describes the 
clergy of this day as *' pious missionaries, with a temper 
and demeanour truly Christian."* To the ingenuity of the 
same historian must be left the task of reconciling the 
declaration just quoted, with a statement elsewhere made 
by him, that " the clergy had very early been regarded 
with a jealousy which checked their aspiring pretensions."f 
Aspiring pretensions belong not to pious men, with a tem- 
per and demeanour truly Christian ; nor is it creditable to 
the characters of the founders of Virginia to represent them 
as having been roused to jealousy by the exhibition of hum- 
ble piety. The fact is, that the clergy and the colony are 
both misrepresented, if the " early" period here spoken of is 
meant to embrace the time prior to 1622, for there is no 
evidence to establish the fact of jealousy on the one hand, 
or ambition on the other. 

* 1 Burk, 250. t 2 Burk, appendix, xxxi. 



44 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1624. 

The next record of the early existence of the church in 
Virginia is to be found in the legislation of 1624. The 
colony had at this time, by an accession of strength from 
the mother country, recovered in a great degree, from the 
disastrous effects of the massacre in 1622 ; and a colonial 
assembly was convened by Sir Francis Wyatt, the laws of 
which consisted of thirty-five articles. The first seven 
related to the church and ministry, and enacted,— 

I. That in every plantation, where the people were wont 
to meet for the worship of God, there should be a house or 
room set apart for that purpose, and not converted to any 
temporal use whatsoever; and that a place should be 
empaled and sequestered, only for the burial of the dead. 

II. That whosoever should absent himself from divine 
service any Sunday, without an allowable excuse, should 
forfeit a pound of tobacco ; and that he who absented him^ 
self a month, should forfeit fifty pounds of tobacco. 

III. That there should be a uniformity in the church, 
as near as might be, both in substance and circumstance, 
to the canons of the Church of England ; and that all per- 
sons should yield a ready obedience to them, upon pain of 
censure. 

IV. That the twenty-second of March (the day of the 
massacre) should be solemnized and kept holy; and that 
all other holydays should be observed, except when two 
fell together in the summer season, (the time of their field 
labours,) when the first only was to be observed, by reason 
of their necessities and employments. 

V. That no minister should be absent from his cure 
above two months in the whole year, upon penalty of for- 
feiting half his salary; and whosover was absent above 
four months, should forfeit his whole salary and cure. 

VI. That whosoever should disparage a minister, with- 
out suflicient proof to justify his reports, whereby the minds 
of his parishioners might be alienated from him, and his 
ministry prove the less effectual, should not only pay five 



1624.] IN VIRGINIA. 45 

hundred pounds of tobacco, but should also ask the minis- 
ter's forgiveness publicly in the congregation. 

VII. That no man should dispose of any of his tobacco 
before the minister was satisfied, upon forfeiture of double 
his part towards the salary ; and that one man of every 
plantation should be appointed to collect the minister's 
salary, out of the first and best tobacco and corn.* 

The adoption of these laws was the last act of legislation 
which affected the church, under the government of the 
Company. It was in 1624 that, under the forms of a 
judicial proceeding, the charter of the Company was 
arbitrarily resumed by the king, and the proprietary 
government ceased in Virginia. 

• 1 Hening's Virginia Statutes, at large, 122 ; Stith, 319. 



46 rnOTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1628. 



CHAPTER III. 

1628-1651. 

Visit of Lord Baltimore — Refuses to take the Oath of Supremac)' — Witch- 
craft — Tyranny of the Governor — Stephen Reek's Case — Missionaries 
from the Independents of New-England — Driven away by Act of Con- 
formity — Right of Presentation and Induction — Loyalty of Virginia — 
Attachment to the Church — Banishment of Mr. Harrison, a Con- 
gregational Minister — Subjugation of Virginia to the Commonwealth. 

The change in government does not seem to have inter- 
rupted the administration of existing laws. The pedantic 
monarch, who had now become sole proprietor, was am- 
bitious of digesting a plan of permanent government, and 
required time and study for the full development of his 
talent for legislation. Meanwhile, and until the period of 
royal leisure should arrive, he appointed a provisional 
government to supply the present exigency, and the colony 
proceeded quietly under the laws already in being. It is 
not improbable, therefore, that the church slowly gathered 
strength, and assumed more of a permanent character, 
under the protection of the enactments already recited. 
The only laws concerning religion which are to be found 
on the records, provide that " all those that worke in the 
ground, of what qualitie or condition soever, shall pay tithes 
to the ministers ;" and that " there bee an especiall care 
taken by all commanders and others that the people doe 
rcpaire to their churches on the Saboth day; and to see 
that the penalty of one pound of tobacco for every time of 
absence, and fifty pounds for everie month's absence, sett 
downe in the act of the Generall Assembly, 1623, be levyed, 
and the delinquents to pay the same ; as alsoe to see that 



1629.] IN VIRGINIA." 47 

the Saboth day be not ordinarily profaned by workeing in 
any imployments, or by iournyeing from place to place."* 
There is, however, in this portion of our narrative little 
more than conjecture to guide us ; nor is there any incident, 
prior to the year 1628, which throws any light on the re- 
ligious condition of the country. It was in that year that 
Lord Baltimore visited Virginia ; and called forth, by his 
arrival, evidence of the strong attachment of the colony to 
the principles of the Protestant faith, as held by the Church 
of England. His lordship was a member of the Church of 
Rome ; and the assembly, which was in session at the lime 
of his arrival, by an exercise of authority, the lawfulness of 
which has been questioned,! required of him and his fol- 
lowers to take the oaths of supremacy and allegiance. 
This was declined by his lordship ; and the assembly con- 
tented itself with referring the whole matter to the king 
and council. The occurrence is recorded as illustrative of 
the general attachment of the colony to the reformed re- 
ligion ; and as indicating the prevalent opinion that the 
church in Virginia was a branch of the establishment at 
home, and entitled to the protection of the same laws. J 

In the year 1629, Sir John Hervey entered on his ad- 
ministration as governor, under the authority of a royal 
commission ; and on the twenty-fourth of March, in the 
succeeding year, he convened an assembly. The tyranny 
of his sway is attested by all the historians of the period, 
and a mildness in the administration of the laws, touching 
the discipline of the church, was one of the first subjects of 
official notice. The decisions of the court of high commis- 
sion in England, were acknowledged, in words, to be au- 
thority in the ecclesiastical concerns of the colony, so far 
as they could have any application ; but, in point of fact, 
their influence was very rarely felt. Indeed, it may well 

* I Hening's Virginia Statutes, t Bozman's Maryland, 236, 237. 
at large, 144. t 2 Burk, 25. 



4& PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1628. 

be questioned whether that influence was felt at all ; as, 
during the first twenty-six years of the colony's existence, 
no record is to be found of any severity inflicted for 
the non-observance of the ordinances of the church, nor 
any instance of the application of ecclesiastical dis- 
cipline for crimes of a spiritual nature. It has, indeed, 
been said that among the early records is to be found 
the history of the trial, condemnation, and execution of 
a woman, by fire, for witchcraft ; and this has led a late 
historian to insinuate the existence of a persecuting and 
intolerant spirit in religion.* If the supposed execution 
ever took place, it is not perceived that it sanctions the 
inferences which have been made. There is no evidence 
that the judgment was rendered by an ecclesiastical court '■, 
and it is well known that the belief in witchcraft was uni- 
versal in Europe until the sixteenth century, and even 
maintained its ground with tolerable firmness until the 
middle of the seventeenth. It was an offence cognizable 
by the civil courts, having been made a felony, without 
benefit of clergy, by statute 1 James I, c. 12, (enacted 
in 1603,) so that, if the fact of the execution mentioned 
above rested on certain testimony, it would still be a gra- 
tuitous imputation to charge it upon the church. The only 
record of a trial for witchcraft in Virginia, is believed to be 
that of Grace Sherwood of Princess Ann county; and if 
it be this to which the historian has alluded, it does not 
sustain his insinuation ; for it was a trial before the civil 
authority ; it did not take place until 1705, 6; nor does it 
appear from the record that the accused was executed. f 
Virginia, therefore, is entitled to the honourable distinction 
of having, in the infancy of her political existence, sustained 
religion without severity, when her course found but little 
countenance in the world's example. And if she should 

* 2 Burk, appon<Uy, xxxi. t Collections of the Virginia His- 

torical Society, vol. i. p. 73. 



1629.] IN VIRGINIA. 49 

be deemed justly chargeable with inconsistency in enacting 
severely, and executing mildly, the inconsistency was at 
least amiable ; and she need not blush to own that the 
feelings of humanity triumphed over the sternness of a 
mistaken theory. 

Such mildness, however, was far from agreeable to 
Sir John Hervey; and, in the assembly of 1629, an act 
was passed, at his instigation, enjoining, under severe 
penalties, a strict conformity to the canons of the church :* 
and there is evidence to show that after this time infrac- 
tions of church law were visited with punishment. The 
enactments of this, and the period immediately subse- 
quent to it, are often characterized by harshness ; and if, as 
has been said, they were "judicious,"f their necessity indi* 
cates the sad fact that the practical fruits of Christianity 
did not accompany the possession of a sound creed : in 
other words, that the religion of the day was more nominal 
than real. It is, however, a point worthy of examination, 
whether this supposed necessity was not itself created by 
the severity of the enactments and proclamations under the 
royal governor. To coerce men into the outward exercise 
of religious acts by penal laws, is indeed possible ; but to 
make them love either the religion which is thus enforced, 
or those who enforce it, is beyond the reach of human 
power. There is an inherent principle of resistance to 
oppression, seated in the very constitution of most men, 
which disposes them to rebel against the arbitrary exercise 
of violence seeking to give direction to opinions ; and it is 
not, therefore, to be wondered at, that one sanguinary law 
compel men to live piously, should beget the necessity for 
more. In addition to this consideration, it is to be borne in 
mind, that the utmost severity in enforcing ecclesiastical 
law was the fashion of those who were in power at home ; 
and a similar course in the colony would therefore be 
deemed an acceptable offering to the authorities of the 

' 1 Hening's Virginia Statutes, at large, 149, t 2 Burk, 31. 



50 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1629, 

mother country. Without intending then to assert that 
the religious condition of the colony was all that could 
be desired, it may be said that the existence of these 
severe enactments furnishes no conclusive evidence that 
Christianity was at a low ebb, and wickedness triumphant. 
But, however this may be, nothing is more certain than 
that punishments were inflicted on the colonists, not for 
professing a faith different from that which was established, 
but for not complying with laws made to enforce that 
which they had professed. Upon the ancient records is 
to be found the entry of the excommunication of a colonist 
*' for forty days, for using scornful speeches, and putting on 
his hat in church, when, according to an order of court, he 
was to acknowledge and ask forgiveness for an offence."* 
But the most memorable instance is furnished in the case 
of Stephen Reek, which occurred in 1642, under the first 
administration of Sir William Berkeley. It has already 
been mentioned, that the decrees of the court of high com- 
mission were acknowledged as authority in the ecclesias- 
tical concerns of the colony. They had now come to be 
the established rules of conduct ; and the authority of 
Archbishop Laud was not less conclusive in Virginia than 
it was in England. His opinions concerning the puritans 
were implicitly received and acted upon, so that the colony 
afforded no countenance, nor even a home to one of that 
class ; for during the short administration of Sir Francis 
Wyatt, who succeeded Hervey, (from 1639 to 1641,) several 
laws were enacted against the puritans, though there were 
then none in the colony, " to prevent," as was said, " the infec- 
tion from reaching this country."! The greatest reverence 
and respect for the character and doctrines of the arch- 
bishop were enjoined under heavy penalties ; and no re- 
flection, however slight, was allowed against royal or epis- 

* 1 Hening's Virginia StatutcB, t Beverly, 57 ; 2 Burk, 75. 
at large, 223. 



1642.] IN VIRGINIA. 51 

copal authority. Under this state of things, Reek, either in 
a moment of exasperation at the oppression of tyranny, or 
in the indiscreet indulgence of a jocose spirit, was unfor- 
tunately heard to say that " his majesty was at confession 
with my Lord of Canterbury." Whether the expression 
was considered as amounting to a charge of popery against 
the king, or as importing a belief that his majesty was 
under the prelate's guidance, is not recorded ; but the un- 
fortunate delinquent was pilloried for two hours, with a 
label on his back, setting forth his offence, fined fifty 
pounds, and imprisoned during pleasure.* 

The usual effects of punishment, in cases of this kind, 
were soon apparent. Such punishment never yet failed 
to give resolution to the spirit of resistance ; and men are 
often led, by severity, to the adoption of measures, of which, 
if unmolested, they would probably have never thought. 
On the records of the first church in Boston, there may be 
found, in the very year in which Reek was punished, the 
history of an application sent from Virginia, addressed 
to the General Court of Massachusetts, and gentlemen of 
influence in the community, beseeching them " to send 
ministers of the gospel into that region, that its inhabitants 
might be privileged with the preaching and ordinances of 
Jesus Christ."f And (as we have seen that the case of 
Reek did not stand alone) it can scarcely admit of doubt, 
that the application was prompted by opposition to the 
indiscreet and oppressive measures pursued in Virginia. 

It has, indeed, been said by a modern historian,J (whose 
inaccuracies may find some extenuation in the fact that he 
is a foreigner, and wrote under many disadvantages in his 
materials, and at a distance from the scene of action,) that 
this application to Massachusetts was made by the little 

* 1 Hening's Virginia Statutes, 1 Mather's Magnalia, Hartford ed., 
at large, 552 ; 2 Burk, 6T. 538 ; though Mather places it in 1641. 

t Emerson's Historical Sketch of t 1 Graham's Hist, of the United 
the fust Church in Boston, p. 75 ; Stales, 313. 



52 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1642. 

remnant of puritans, who are supposed to have entered the 
colony in 1619. No authority is given by him for the 
statement, nor is it known on what ground it rests. It is be- 
lieved to be erroneous ; the most diligent research has not 
been rewarded by the discovery of any such fact ; and as 
twenty-three years had now elapsed since the arrival of 
puritans in 1619, during all which time the Church of 
England was the establishment, it will not be deemed im- 
probable that the distinct existence of these dissenters had 
been gradually lost, under the combined influence of an act 
of conformity, the vigilance of the governor and council, 
and the known want of a pastor. The application, there- 
fore, has been considered as that of members of the estab- 
lishment driven into opposition by the severity of rulers ; 
and is viewed in this light ; though it is possible, and in- 
deed probable, that the application was suggested by some 
of those who, as we are informed by Winthrop, had emi- 
grated from New-England two years before, and sought a 
home in the southern colonies.* 

The lesson presented is plain and impressive. Up to 
the period of Hervey's arrival, in 1629, there was no 
complaint ; the colonists were content to remain in the 
bosom of that church in which they had been reared ; 
and there is ample evidence of a conscientious and 
general attachment to the faith which was established. 
The colony of Massachusetts Bay was planted by men 
who, for the most part, were decided in their opposition to 
the Church of England. That church received as little 
countenance among them, as puritanism found in Virginia : 
and yet, notwithstanding this marked difference of opinion, 
a portion of the church in Virginia is found, goaded into 
madness by the folly of rulers, and willing to manifest its 
resentment by an alliance with those who could furnish no 
aid, but at the expense of that church which once had their 
best affections. 

• 2 Savages' Winthrop, 31. 



1642.] IN VIRGINIA.. 53 

The application to Boston was laid before a meeting 
of the ministers of that place, when three were desig- 
nated to answer the call : of these three, one only, Mr. 
Tomson, could be prevailed on to obey the summons ;* 
he was, however, joined afterward, by Mr. Knolles of Wa- 
tertown and Mr. James of New-Haven ; and these three 
gentlemen went as Congregational missionaries to the 
Church of England in Virginia.f Their stay, however, 
was but short, for an act of the legislature of this year, 
enacted " that for the preservation of purity and unity of 
doctrine and discipline in the church, and the right ad- 
ministration of the sacraments, no minister be admitted to 
officiate in this country, but such as shall produce to the 
governor a testimonial that he hath received his ordination 
from some bishop in England, and shall then subscribe, 
to be conformable to the orders and constitutions of the 
Church of England, and the laws there established : upon 
which the governor is hereby requested to induct the said 
minister into any parish that shall make presentation of 
him : and if any other person, pretending himself a min- 
ister, shall, contrary to this act, presume to teach or 
preach publicly or privately, the governor and council are 
hereby desired and empowered to suspend and silence the 
person so offending ; and upon his obstinate persistance, 
to compel him to depart the country with the first conve- 
nience."J If the unwelcome visit of these ministers was 
not the cause of the passage of this act, it was unquestion- 
ably this law which compelled their speedy return.§ Of 
the effect of their visit, this account is obtained from the 
statements of such as were of their own persuasion. 
" They had," says Mather,|l " little encouragement from 
the rulers of the place, but they had a kind entertainment 

* Emerson's Historical Sketch of t Trott's Laws of the British 

the first Church in Boston, p. 75; Plantations, p. 116; 1 Henings's 

1 Mather*s Magnalia, 538 ; though Statutes, at large, 277. 

Mather places it in 1641. <} 1 Holmes's Annals, 271, note 3. 

t 1 Holmes'a Annals, 264. 11 1 Math. Mag. 539. 



54 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [l642. 

with the people." And Winthrop* remarks, that " though 
the state did silence the ministers, because they would not 
conform to the order of England, yet the people resorted 
to them in private houses to hear them," That their suc- 
cess was but limited, will appear at a future period in this 
narrative. 

There is one clause in the act of conformity just recited 
which is worthy of notice, inasmuch as the subject which 
it embraced led afterward to much discussion and, indeed, 
litigation ; and was finally adjusted by legislative interpo- 
sition. It related to the rights of presentation and induc- 
tion; the former of which was, by implication at least, 
given to the parish, and the latter to the governor. But 
before the passage of this act, it was a matter of dispute 
whether the parishes, as builders and endowers of all the 
churches, had not, by the law of England, the right of pres- 
entation ; and after its enactment, many parishes still con- 
tended for the exercise of the right, under the law of Eng- 
land, independent of the statute.f But on whatever ground 
the right rested, it was certainly exercised by the parishes ; 
and it is believed that it continued to be exercised up to 
the period of the American Revolution. As a specimen of 
the letters of induction commonly used, a copy of one, with 
the omission of names only, made from the original, is sub- 
joined ; in which it will be remarked that the right of the 
parish to make the presentation seems to be recognised. 

" A. B., his majesty's lieutenant, and governor-general 
of the colony and dominion of Virginia, 

" To the vestry of Hungar's parish in Northampton 
county. 

" In virtue of the presentation which you have made to 

* See 2 Savage's Winthrop, 96 ; ginia, by Richard Bland, Esq., one 

Hubbard's History of New-England, of the Representatives in Assembly 

411. for the county of Prince George. A 

+ A Letter to the Clergy of Vir- pamphlet, published in 1660. 



1642.] IN VIRGINIA. 55 

me of the Rev. C. D., to be your minister, I do induct him 
into the real, actual, and corporal possession of the parish 
of Hungars, in the county of Northampton, with all the 
rights, profits, and appurtenances thereunto belonging." 

Particuliarity of statement on this point will not, per- 
haps, be deemed useless, when it is understood that the 
legislation of a future period, which most deeply affected 
the church in its temporal interests, involved a question 
as to the actual ownership of the church property ; the 
right of presentation aided in settling that question : and 
at a future period of this history, it will be found important 
to remember that, from the beginning, the jus proprietatis 
was supposed to be in the body of people, or parish, by 
which the church edifice was erected, and its lands ob- 
tained. 

At this time another circumstance occurred which in- 
vites remark, inasmuch as history has connected it with 
the religious opinions of the colony. It seems that Mr. 
George Sandys, one of the agents of the colony in Eng- 
land, petitioned parliament, in the name of his constituents, 
for the restoration of the old company. The colony, how- 
ever, formally disavowed the act, and entreated permission 
to remain under the royal government ;* this measure 
is supposed to have been induced by attachment to the 
Church of England. The petition of Mr. Sandys was pre- 
ferred to the long parliament; and the mother country 
was then passing through the troubles which resulted in 
the temporary overthrow of monarchy. The attachment 
of Virginia, as has already been stated, was to the Church 
of England ; nor is there" any reason to doubt that, not- 
withstanding the disaflfection of some, among the great 
mass of the inhabitants it was a conscientious attachment. 
The proceedings of the long parliament, and the spirit of 

* 1 Hening's Virginia Statutes, at large, 230. 



56 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1642. 

those who ruled the disorganizers, were objects of suspicion 
in Virginia. The colonists saw plainly that the measures 
in progress tended to the subversion of the church ; and 
they viewed the puritans (whom they cordially disliked) 
as engaged in an effort, not merely to subvert the throne, 
but to destroy the Church of England also. And this, it is 
said, induced the colony to favour the royal cause.* 

There is probably some truth in this conjecture of the his- 
torian, but it is not the whole truth. The circumstance does, 
indeed, furnish evidence that Virginia preferred the Church 
of England, and entertained but little partiality for the 
puritans ; and, according to the view just presented, she 
deserves, at least, to be complimented for political sagacity, 
in having foreseen results which were afterward verified 
by the facts. But there was more than this in the occur- 
rence. Virginia was loyal. She was the last colony to 
submit to the parliament. Hundreds of the cavaliers 
sought and found refuge within her borders. There is 
ample evidence in her history of a devoted attachment to 
the crown. And who, at this day, will reproach her on that 
account ? It is but a disingenuous effort, in our love for the 
political institutions of our own country, to offer a lame and 
insufficient apology for loyalty to a throne, when exhibited 
by men, who had been taught by situation, habits, and edu- 
cation to deem loyalty a virtue. The descendants of the 
cavaliers, and there are some such in Virginia, have surely 
no cause to blush for the feeling of honour which kept their 
fathers faithful to what they thought to be duty. If, how- 
ever, it was a fault in the colony to offer resistance to the 
republican principles and practices of the commonwealth, 
let the fault be put down to the true account — Virginia's 
loyalty ; but let not the church in this country be injured 
at this day by an artful insinuation, that adherence to her 
principles involved attachment to monarchy ; let her not 

* 2 Burk, 75. 



1648.] IN VIRGINIA. 57 

be sacrificed to prejudices which are easily excited, but 
allayed witli difficulty. 

The assembly of dissenters, collected by the missionaries 
from Massachusetts, whose efforts have been recorded on 
a previous page, amounted in 1648, to one hundred and 
eighteen members. It had experienced from its com- 
mencement the opposition of government ; Mr. Durand its 
elder had been already banished by the governor ; and in 
this year, Mr. Harrison, its pastor, having been ordered to 
depart from the country, sought congeniality of sentiment 
among the Congregationalists or Independents of New-Eng- 
land.* One who was contemporary with the transactions 
here related, has left us the following statement, which 
presents a picture of persecution, for which no apology 
should be offered : " And there was in Virginia a certaine 
people congregated into a church, calling themselves Inde- 
pendents, which daily encreasing, severall consultations 
were had by the state of thatColoney, how to suppress and 
extinguish them, which was daily put in execution ; as 
first, their pastor was banished ; next, their other teachers; 
then many by informations clapt up in prison, then gener- 
ally disarmed (which was very harsh in such a country 
where the heathen live round about them) by one Colonel 
Samuel Matthews, then a counsellor in Virginia, so that 
they knew not in those straights how to dispose of them- 
selves."t Mr. Harrison, on his return, represented that 
many of the council were favourably disposed towards the 
introduction of puritanism, and "one thousand of the peo- 
ple, by conjecture" were of a similar mind. J There is but 
little doubt that the banishment of Mr. Harrison was con- 
nected with other considerations than those of religion. 
The time at which it occurred was but a few months prior 

♦ 1 Holmes's Annals, 289 ; 3 Maryland. A pamphlet, published 

Savage's Winthrop, 334. in 1656. The author was John 

t J^eah and Rachell, or the two Hammond, 
fruitfull Sisters of Virginia and X 2 Savage's Winthrop, 334. 

H 



58 PnOTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1648. 

to the execution of the unfortunate Charles ; and the re- 
ligious opinions of Mr. Harrison were taken as an index 
to his political sentiments ; he was banished, probably, as 
much for the latter as the former; and the transaction 
affords another proof of the deep sympathy which Virginia 
felt for the fallen king. 

After the beheading of Charles, the parliament directed its 
attention to the subjugation of the colonies. Virginia made 
resistance ; she now contained a population of twenty 
thousand,* and was under the government of a man, who 
yielded to none, in attachment to the family of the late 
monarch. Sir William Berkeley resolved not to sur- 
render without a struggle ; and in this determination he 
was strengthened by the cavaliers, who, as has been before 
mentioned, had in large numbers sought a refuge in Vir- 
ginia. Certain Dutch trading ships were also at the time 
lying off James Town, engaged in a traffic which had been 
interdicted by the parliament; and fearful of the loss of 
property, and perhaps of life, under the decision of the 
parliament's courts in England, the commanders of these 
ships determined to make common cause with Virginia. 
The vessels were accordingly filled with men, and moored 
in the most convenient position for pouring a broadside 
into an approaching enemy ; while troops, commanded by 
the governor in person, covered the eminences that over- 
looked the waters which formed the peninsula. When 
the squadron approached James Town, the leaders of the 
parliamentary forces were startled by a preparation for 
resistance alike formidable and unexpected ; and the offi- 
cers of the commonwealth, not daring to hazard an attack, 
resorted to negotiation. Some of the members of the 
council happened to be the owners of a large quantity of 
goods which had been shipped for them in England, on 
board some of the vessels of the invading fleet, and their 

* I HoImes^s Annals, 315. 



1651.] IN VIRGINIA. 59 

influence was sought in effecting an accommodation. 
They yielded to considerations of interest, produced a 
division of sentiment in the council, and at length, sorely 
against the wishes of the governor, it vv^as resolved to 
capitulate. The measure having been determined on, all 
that Sir William Berkeley could do, was to unite all parties 
in the resolution to insist on the most honourable terms. 
In this he met with no difficulty ; and the conditions of 
surrender having been discussed and agreed on in a grand 
assembly of governor, councillors, and burgesses, they 
were sent to the commander of the parliamentary forces, 
with a solemn assurance, that if they were not accepted 
without the slightest alteration or qualification the colony 
was prepared to endure the worst rather than submit. 
The parliamentary leader was most willing to accept of 
the surrender on their own terms ; and truly has it been 
said of them, that they were "' the most liberal and ample 
that were ever procured under similar circumstances ;" 
and form "an honourable and lasting record of the spirit 
and intelligence of Virginia."* 

In these articles of capitulation, the governor and council 
were excused from taking the oalh to the commonwealth 
for one year ; and were not to be censured for praying for 
the kiniT, or speaking well of him, in their private houses 
and neighbourly conference. It was also stipulated "that 
the use of the Book of Common Prayer shall be permitted 
for one yeare ensueing, with reference to the consent of 
the major part of the parishes, provided that those which 
relate to kingship, or that government be not used pub- 
liquely, and the continuance of ministers in their places, 
they not misdemeaning themselves, and the payment of 
their accustomed dues and agreements made with them 
respectively, shall be left as they now stand, dureing this 
ensueing yeare."f 

* 2 Burk, 80, et ieq. Beverly. t 2 Burk, 90 ; 1 Hening's Vir- 

ginia Statutes, at large, 362. 



60 PROTESTANT EPISCOrAL CHURCH [1C51. 



CHAPTER IV. 
1G51-1693. 

Introduction of Puritans — Hatred of Puritanism — Reproved by Cromwell 
— Virginia throws off obedience to the Commonwealth — State of the 
Church in 1661 — Bad Character of many of the Clergy — Legislation of 
1662 — Intolerance towards Quakers — Conspiracy of Puritans — Dread of 
Popery — The Reverend Dr. Blair, first Commissary — His Character and 
Labours — Establishment of William and Mary College. 

DuRiJNG the time which intervened between the surrender 
of Virginia to the conn mon wealth and the restoration of 
Charles the Second, little is to be found which illustrates 
the condition of the church. It is certain that the success 
of the parliamentary party led to the introduction into the 
colony of new residents who entertained but little affection 
for the Church of England ; and it may be that among 
these individuals, congregations were organized on the model 
■which had been set up in the mother country ; but it is also 
certain, that if such were the fact, the influence of this ex- 
ample was but slightly felt, and the great body of the people 
still retained their attachment for the church of their fathers. 
The legislation of the period under review affords us but 
little light. In 1653, we find a clergyman declared inca- 
pable of being a member of the House of Burgesses, as it 
might "produce bad consequences."* In 1655, "many 
places were destitute of ministers, and like still to continue 
so, the people not paying their accustomed dues," and 
manifesting great negligence in procuring religious instruc- 
tion ;t and in 1657, an act for settling church government 

♦ 1 Heujng's Statutes, at large, 378. i Ibid 399. 



1G51.] IN VIRGINIA. 61 

provided that to the people of the respective parishes should 
be referred all matters touching the churchwardens and 
vestry, agreements with their ministers, and, in general, 
such things as concerned the parish or parishioners.* The 
interference of the legislature, however, does not seem to 
have caused any change in the feelings or habits of the 
colonists, so far at least as the church was concerned. A 
contemporary describes them as "a people which generally 
bear a tzreat love to the stated constitutions of the Church 
of England, in her government and public worship; which 
gave us (who went thither under the late persecutions of 
it) the advantage of liberty to use it constantly among 
them, after the naval force had reduced the colony under 
the power (but never to the obedience) of the usur- 
pers."! 

Indeed, during the whole continuance of the protectorate, 
Virginia seems to have been an object of suspicion to Crom- 
well. Her attachment to the royal cause was known; and 
her silent endurance of the religious system which was 
then triumphant at home, was justly supposed to be an 
extorted acquiescence in what she could not remedy, rather 
than the voluntary submission of a cordial affection. There 
was a circumstance which occurred about this time, well 
calculated to increase Cromwell's distrust. A set of com- 
missioners, at the head of whom was one Claiborne, a felon 
convict who had escaped from justice in Maryland during 
the reign of Charles the First, was employed, under the 
auspices of Cromwell, "in the holy work of rooting out 
the abominations of popery and prelacy in Maryland.''^ 
This chief commissioner was well known in Virginia, for 
he had lived there, and from the concurrent testimony of 
the historians of the times, his character seems to have 

* 1 Hening's Statutes, at large, | 2 Bark, 113. Leah and Rachell, 

433. or the two fruitfaU Sisters of Vir- 

t Virginia's Cure, an advisive nar- ginia and Maryland. A pamphlet of 

rative concerning Virginia, p. 22. 1656. 



62 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL cHuncn [l651. 

been well understood. " It was not religion," says a writer 
of that day, " it was not punctilios these commissioners 
stood upon ; it was that sweete, that rich, that large country 
they aimed at."* Virginia dared to sympathize with the 
victims of Claiborne's oppression, and to afford relief to 
such of them as sought an asylum within her borders; 
"and," says the historian quoted above, "this supposed 
attempt in Virginia to interrupt the work of righteousness, 
was looked on as the instigation of Satan, to retard the 
establishment of God's religion and the dominion of the 
saints."! It called forth from the Protector a severe reproof 
to the governor and council, in which he descanted on " the 
presumption and impiety of this interference," and admon- 
ished Virginia in future to attend solely to her own con- 
cerns.J 

The circumstances above related furnish, it will be ob- 
served, testimony to something more than the fact of Crom- 
well's suspicion of Virginia. There could have been, in 
the mass of the people, little or no disposition cordially to 
co-operate in the diffusion and establishment of puritanical 
opinions and practices in Virginia, when they were so 
ready to afford a refuge to those who fled from them in 
Maryland. 

Sir William Berkeley, who, by the articles of capitulation 
in 1651, had secured to himself the right of transporting 
himself and his effects to Europe within one year, still lin- 
gered in the colony under various pretexts ; and thus is the 
suspicion strengthened that he secretly indulged the hope 
of a restoration of royalty, and remained on the spot to 
avail himself of any circumstances which might seem 
favourable to the production of such an event. A very 
large number of cavaliers had been driven abroad by 
Cromwell, and crowds of them resorted to Virginia ;§ and 
there is reason to believe that there was a secret and unsus- 

* Leah and Kachell. . X Ibid. 

t 2 Burk, 113. ^ I Holme»'« AnnaU, 315. 



1G59.] IN VIRGINIA.. 63 

pected correspondence carried on between these refugees 
and the ex-governor.* 

One of those refugees, a devoted loyalist and a relative 
of Sir William Berkeley, has left a narrative of the voyage 
which he, together with others of the king's adherents, 
made to Virginia. From him we learn that the colony was 
looked upon by the cavaliers as an asylum for them, in 
which they were certain of finding those who sympathized 
with them in their sufferings, and shared with them in their 
political attachments ; and the house and the purse of Sir 
William Berkeley " were open to all of the royal party who 
made Virginia their refuge."f 

Upon the death of the governor Matthews, in the begin- 
ning of 1659, the Virginians, according to the statements 
of the earlier historians, resolved to throw off the govern- 
ment of the protectorate ; and repairing in crowds to the 
residence of Sir William Berkeley, who was then living in 
retirement, requested of him to resume the government of 
the colony. He, it is said, declined, unless they would 
solemnly promise to adventure their lives and fortunes 
with him for the king. The pledge was given ; and in 
January, 1659, Charles the Second was proclaimed in Vir- 
ginia,and Berkeley resumed the government, sixteen months 
before the king was restored to the throne. J 

Later writers have, however, doubted the correctness of 
this statement, and have laboured hard to prove that Vir- 
ginia was essentially republican at this period, and cared 
but little for the restoration of royalty.^ There may be a 
deficiency of proof to establish the fact of a tumultuous 
assemblage having requested Berkeley to resume the reins 
of government; but a fair exposition of the records of that 

* 2 Burk, 114. Chalmers, b. i. 125 ; 1 Holmes's An- 

t Journal of a Voyage to Virginia, nals, 31 1. 
by Colonel Norwood ; Churchill's ^ I Hening's Stat., at large, 513 
Celiection of Voyages, vol. vi. p. 170. note, 526 note; Bancroft's United 

t Beverly, p. 55; 2 Burk, 118; States, 240 to 253. Bancroft is in- 
debted entirely to Hening. 



64 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1G61. 

day, together with the testimony of contemporaneous his- 
tory, will place beyond a doubt the loyalty of Virginia.* 

Charles had scarcely ascended the throne before he trans- 
mitted to Governor Berkeley a new commission, and gave 
him permission to visit England. Upon this visit, which 
was made immediately, he received a body of instructions 
which formed the basis of the colonial legislation for the 
church, in 1662. The condition of Virginia in ecclesiastical 
matters at the period of the restoration, is gathered from a 
pamphlet which was delivered to the Bishop of London in 
1661, during the visit of Sir William Berkeley, and probably 
at his instigation. 

There were in the colony at that time about fifty 
parishes, situated, for the most part, on the banks of the 
rivers, and extending themselves for some length, form- 
ing narrow belts of land along the shore. Many of 
these parishes had nothing more than a legislative exist- 
ence in the acts of assembly which defined their bounda- 
ries, and in many there was neither church, parsonage, nor 
glebe. Most of them were destitute of clergymen, as the 
whole number of ministers in the colony was about one- 
fifth of the number of parishes. f From the same source 
of information we learn that the scarcity of ministers was 
an evil which had long been felt, and that applications had 
been from time to lime made to the Bishop of London " for 
help to preserve the Christian religion by supplying them 
with ministers." Such, indeed, was the want of clergy- 
men, that a bounty of twenty pounds sterling was granted 
by the legislature of 1656, lo any person who should at his 
" proper cost and charge transport a sufficient minister" 
into the colony.J These applications, if not entirely fruit- 
less, were of but little benefit to the colony ; the country 
was not in the best repute, and but few clergymen of merit 
were found willing to make it their permanent habitation* 

* Vide Appendix, note A. narrative concerning Virginia. 

t Virginia's Cure, or an advisive t 1 Hening's Stat, at large, 418. 



1062.] IN VIRGINIA. 65 

Clergymen emigrated, indeed, but so far as the colony was 
concerned, belter had it been had they remained at home. 
" Many came, such as wore black coals, and could babble 
in a pulpit, roare in a tavern, exact from iheir parishioners, 
and rather by their dissolutenesse, destroy than feed their 
flocks. Loath was the country to be wholy without teach- 
ers, and therefore rather retain them than be destitute: 
yet still, endeavours for belter in their places, which were 
obtained, and these wolves in sheep's clothing by their 
assemblies questioned, silenced, and some forced to depart 
the country."* 

The narrative which was presented to the Bishop of 
London in 1661, suggested as remedies for the evils under 
which the Virginia church laboured, the building of towns, 
and proposing to the king a collection throughout the king- 
dom ; and to ensure a supply of qualified clergymen, it 
recommended the establishment, at the two universities, of 
"Virginia fellowships," imposing upon the fellows at their 
ordination, at the expiration of seven years, the duty of 
going to Virginia and officiating as parish priests, for seven 
years more. 

How far the measures here proposed found favour with 
those in authority is unknown ; but in the body of instruc- 
tions given to Sir Willliam Berkeley, the first article re- 
commended " the duties of religion, the use of the Book of 
Common Prayer, the decent repairs of churches, and a 
competent provision for conforming ministers. For this 
purpose, a convenient house, with a glebe of a hundred 
acres, for the exercise of their industry, were directed to 
be assigned to them, together with a liberal maintenance to 
be furnished out of the fruits and productions of the earth 
and the labours of the planters."! Sir William Berkeley 
transmitted to his deputy a copy of the instructions which 
he had received ; and as the legislature was then in ses- 

* Hammond's Leah and Rachell, p. 5. f 2 J3urk, 124 

X 



60 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1662. 

sion, preparing a revised code, this intimation of the royal 
pleasure was naturally enough made the guide in legisla- 
tion. 

The enactments of the legislature, so far as they concern 
religion, may, it is thought, be most conveniently presented 
under four heads. 

I. As it respected church edifices, the lavir declared that 
a church should be " built in each parish of the country, 
unless any parish, as now settled, by reason of the fewness 
or poverty of the inhabitants, be incapable of sustaining 
so great a charge ; in which case, such parishes shall be 
joined to the great parish of the same county ; and that a 
chapel of ease be built in such places, at the particular 
charge of that place." It was also made the duty of the 
churchwardens to " keep the church in repair, and provide 
books and decent ornaments; viz., a great Bible, two Com- 
mon Prayer books, a communion cloth and napkins, a 
pulpit, and cushion." 

II, As it respected the duties and compensation of the 
clergy, and the regular performance of divine service, it 
was enacted, " that the canons set down in the liturgy of 
the Church of England, for celebrating divine service and 
administration of the sacraments, be duly observed and 
kept; and that the whole liturgy, according to the said in- 
junctions, be, by the minister or reader at church or chapel, 
every Sunday throughly used." It was also made the 
duty of the minister of each parish " to preach constantly 
every Sunday; viz., one Sunday in a month at each chapel 
of ease in his parish, if there be any, and the others in his 
parish church ; and that twice a year, at least, he admin- 
ister the sacrament of the Lord's Supper there." To se- 
cure to the people divine service in the absence of the 
minister, it was enacted that " every parish, not having a 
minister to officiate every Sunday, might make choice of a 
grave and sober person, of good life and conversation, to 
read divine service, every intervening Sunday, at the parish 



1GG2.] IN VIRGINIA. 67 

church, when the minister preacheth in any other place." 
And it was also declared, that neither minister nor reader 
should teach any other catechism than " that inserted in 
the Book of Common Prayer; and that the minister ex- 
pound no other than that : that our fundamentals, at 
least, may be well laid ; and that no reader, upon pre- 
sumption of his own abilities, do attempt the expounding 
that or any other catechism, or the scriptures." The 
minister or reader was also required to keep a record of 
his official acts. As to the dues of the minister, (as they 
were termed,) it w'as provided that an annual salary of 
eighty pounds should be settled on every minister, " to be 
paid in the valuable commodities of the country ; if in to- 
bacco, at twelve shilhngs per hundred weight; if in corn, 
at ten shillings per barrel."* It was also made the duty 
of the churchwardens " to collect these dues, cause them 
to be brought to convenient places, and honestly pay 
them." 

III. As to the rights and duties of the laity, it was 
enacted that " the major part of each parish" should 
choose "twelve of the most able men of each parish" to 
be a vestry ; out of which number the minister and vestry 
were annually to select two churchwardens ; and to them 
also was given the power of supplying all vacancies in 
their body; and none were to be permitted to act as ves- 
trymen, until they should take " the oaths of allegiance and 
supremacy to his majesty, and subscribe to be comform- 
able to the doctrine and discipline of the Church of Eng- 
land." The due observance of the Lord's day, by attend- 
ance upon public worship, and refraining from travel, ex- 
cept in cases of emergent necessity, were required under 
the penalty of a fine of fifty pounds of tobacco. As illus- 
trative of the spirit of the age, it should be added that a 
special proviso in this statute excluded "Quakers, or 

* A Letter to the Clergy of Virginia, by Richard Bland, Esquire. 



68 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1662. 

other recusants, who, out of non-conformity to the church," 
totally absented themselves from worship, from the benefit 
of its comparatively mild penalty; and declared them still 
to be liable to the penalties of statute 23 Elizabeth, which 
were for each month's absence twenty pounds sterling ; and 
for the continued absence of a twelvemonth, to give, in 
addition to the fine, security for their good behaviour. It 
was also enacted by the law of Virginia, that each Quaker 
attending an " unlawful assembly or conventicle," if taken 
there, should pay a fine of two hundred pounds of tobacco 
for each offence. And " whereas," to use the language of 
the preamble, " many schismatical persons, either out of 
averseness to the orthodox established religion, or out of the 
new-fangled conceits of their own heretical inventions, did 
refuse to have their children baptized ;" it was enacted that 
whoever, " in contempt of the divine sacrament of bap- 
tism," should thus refuse, when he might carry his child to 
a lawful minister within the county to be baptized, should 
be amerced two thousand pounds of tobacco, half to the 
parish, and half to the informer. 

IV. For the advancement of education, and conse- 
quent increase of religious instructers, the following ju- 
dicious law was enacted : " Whereas, the want of able 
and faithful ministers in this country deprives us of those 
great blessings and mercies that always attend upon the 
service of God ; which want, by reason of our -great dis- 
tance from our native country, cannot, in probability, be 
always supplied from thence : be it enacted, that for the 
advance of learning, education of youth, supply of the 
ministry, and promotion of piety, there be land taken up, 
or purchased, for a college and free-school ; and that 
there be, with as much speed as may be convenient, 
housing erected thereon for entertainment of students and 
scholars."* 

* For these several laws, see Trott's Laws of the British Plantations in 
America; article Virginia, Nos. 1, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10 11. 23. 25. 28. 29: 2 
Hening's Virginia Statutes, at large, p. 44. 



1663.] IN VIRGINIA. 69 

These are the principal enactments, touching the church, 
which were made in 1662. In the succeeding year, a spirit 
of intolerance, for which no better apology has been 
rendered than that it was the spirit of the age, seems 
to have been manifested towards the unfortunate Qua- 
kers. Those who are disposed to find an excuse for this 
severity, might urge, in extenuation of the passage of the 
law inflicting additional penalties on the Quakers, that 
the effort for their suppression was made on political 
rather than on religious considerations ; for the preamble 
in reference to the assemblies of Quakers states, that 
" under that and other names of separation, persons have 
taken up and maintained sundry dangerous opinions and 
tenets ; and, under pretence of religious worship, often 
assemble themselves in great numbers, in several parts of 
this colony, to the great endangering of its public peace 
and safety:"* but, unfortunately for the charity which 
would adopt this excuse, it must be remembered, that 
though ordinarily there is wisdom in an adherence to 
the rule of law which makes the preamble a key to the 
interpretation of the statute ; yet in the case of a penal 
enactment, the maker of the law and of its preamble is 
the same individual ; and he will scarcely fail to justify to 
the world the severity of the enactment, by the insertion 
in the preamble of what, to him at least, appears to be a 
suflicient apology. It would be difficult to find a penal 
statute with a preamble, in which the preamble does not 
sanction the severity of the law ; for men are not usually 
willing to exhibit gratuitous cruelty. Were it always cer- 
tain that the preamble told nothing but the truth, the rule 
of interpretation above alluded to might safely be made 
of universal application ; but when it is known, in some of 
its statements, to be untrue, it obviously furnishes no safe 

• 2 Hening's Statutes, at large, 180 ; Beverly, 57. 



70 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1663- 

guide. Such in the case under consideration happens to 
be the fact. It is stated that Quakers assembled " in great 
numbers," when at this period their number in the colony 
was comparatively small ; so small, indeed, that they are 
known to have had but one congregation at most, if, in- 
deed, they had any. Another unfortunate discrepancy 
between the preamble and the law is, that while the one 
professes the existence of an evil which called for a remedy, 
in the assemblage of those under "other names of separa- 
tion" as well as of Quakers, the other applies the pro- 
posed remedy to Quakers only. The statement in the 
preamble, therefore, it is believed, is entitled to little credit ; 
and, under all the circumstances, it is difficult at this day 
to find the true cause of this hostility to a class of men pro- 
verbially peaceable, unless we refer it to a complaisant 
spirit of acquiescence, ready to return a faithful echo to 
the known opinions of the reigning monarch respecting 
those whose principles, he said, he had discovered to be 
"inconsistent with any kind of government."* 

Whatever may have been the causes which led to the 
passage of the law, in its enforcement there were not want- 
ing instances of disfranchisement and petty annoyance ;t 
though Virginia did not proceed as far as her sister colony 
of Massachusetts in inflicting the punishment of death. 
No Quakers were hanged in Virginia. It has been said 
that this forbearance " was not owing to the moderation 
of the church, or spirit of the legislature."^ As to the 
church, it is not perceived that she had any agency in the 
enactment of the law ; and as to the legislature, it certainly 
was as competent to punish Quakers with death, as it was 
to inflict a lighter penalty. Nor can it be for a moment 

* See King Charles's Letter to + 2 Burk, 131. 

the Colony of Massachusetts ; 2 j Jefferson's Note? on Virginia, 

Hazard, 605-7 ; 2 Coll. Mass. Hist, query xvii. 
Soc. viii. 52. 55. 



1663.] IN VIRGINIA. 71 

doubted that the severest punishment would have received 
the royal sanction ; for in the letter of Charles to the colony 
of Massachusetts, to which allusion has already been made, 
the language of the king is remarkable : — " We cannot be 
understood hereby to direct or wish that any indulgence 
should be granted to those persons commonly called Qua- 
kers." If, therefore, there was any moderation exhibited at 
all, it must have been by the legislature ; and as it is the 
only redeeming feature which this body presents in the 
transaction, it seems hard to rob it of this trifling modicum 
of merit. That it was not disposed to signalize itself by its 
want of moderation, is evident from a circumstance which 
occurred in the very same body by which the law was 
enacted. The sheriff of Norfolk reported to the House of 
Burgesses, that one of their members, the representative 
from his county, was " loving to the Quakers and attended 
their meetings." The accused member did not hesitate to 
avow his attachment to the persecuted sect, but denied 
that there was evidence to prove his attendance upon their 
meetings. This was admitted by the House ; but upon his 
refusal to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, 
which were required of all the members, he was expelled ; 
and with that step the legislature was content, without in- 
stituting an inquiry or directing a prosecution against the 
suspected Quaker.* 

There was another class of non-conformists in the colony, 
more numerous and more dangerous than the Quakers, 
against whom the law of I642f was put in force. These 
were veteran soldiers, who, having imbibed the spirit 
of insurrection under Cromwell, had been transported 
to Virginia after the restoration, on account of their 
turbulent and mutinous dispositions. Their assemblages, 
there is reason to believe, were perverted from reli- 
gious to treasonable purposes ; and under the influence 
of these men, a plot was concocted among the secta- 

* 2 Hening's Statutes, at large, 198. t Vide ante, p. 53. 



72 PKOTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1663. 

ries of their creed, for the subversion of the govern- 
ment, presenting a singular compound of fanaticism and 
villany. It was betrayed by one of their own number on 
the evening previous to its intended execution, and the just 
indignation of the colony was satisfied with the death of 
four only of the conspirators. As there were political 
dangers resulting from the meetings of these misguided 
men, which were suspected by the government, it will per- 
haps be deemed no undue exercise of severity that the 
law which prohibited their meetings was enforced, as the 
readiest as well as mildest mode of correcting the evil. 

Scarcely had the fears excited by the discovery of this 
plot been permitted to subside, before a fresh cause of ap- 
prehension was found. This was the dread of popery 
under the reign of the second James. The attachment of 
the king to the Church of Rome was strongly suspected in 
the colony, insomuch that a distinguished citizen had not 
hesitated to say to the governor, " that his majesty. King 
James, would wear out the Church of England : for that, 
when there were any vacant offices, he supplied them with 
men of a different persuasion." And that he was not alone 
in this opinion may be inferred from the fact, that when, at 
the instigation of the governor, he was prosecuted for his 
words, the council, to save appearances, after a short ex- 
amination, discharged him unpunished. The clergy, too, 
were not backward in sounding the alarm. In the county 
of Stafford, the reverend Mr. Waugh preached openly 
against popery ; and as mysterious hints were circulating 
of a supposed plot between the Indians and the few papists 
in the colony, (who had probably fled from Maryland,) to 
destroy the protestants, it was not difficult to rouse the 
people to angry excitement, and commotions arose which 
foreboded no peaceful termination.* The accession of 
William and Mary served to allay apprehension, and that 

» 2 Burk,306. 



ICSO.] IN VIRGINIA. 73 

event was accordingly hailed with joy by the great body of 
the people. 

Prior to the year 1689, the reverend Mr. Temple seems 
to have exercised within the colony functions somewhat 
similar to those confided to a bishop's commissary. How 
long he had so exercised them is matter of uncertainty, nor 
is it known that he acted under any other than verbal au- 
thority. In this year Sir Francis Nicholson entered on his 
duties as lieutenant-governor ; and associated with this fact 
there occurs the name of a clergyman, whose memory is 
intimately connected with the progress of religion and 
learning for many years in Virginia. This clergyman was 
the reverend Dr. Blair, who is supposed to have been the 
first commissary duly commissioned by the Bishop of Lon- 
don for any of the colonies. His commission was read 
before the council on the day after the installation of Sir 
Francis Nicholson, and his authority was duly acknow- 
ledged. 

The duty of a commissary under the English law is, " to 
supply the office and jurisdiction of the bishop in the out- 
places of the diocess ;"* and it will be remembered that all 
the colonies were considered as forming a part of the dio- 
cess of the Bishop of London. To the Episcopalian, it is 
scarcely necessary to say that the rites of ordination and 
confirmation were not within the powers of the commis- 
sary. For certain purposes only, was he the bishop's repre- 
sentative : it was his duty to make visitations through the 
diocess, inspect the state of the churches, deliver charges, 
and, in some instances, to administer discipline. Deposi- 
tion from the ministry, however, was understood to be be- 
yond his authority; and therefore the evils which resulted 
from the continuance in the church of an unworthy clergy- 
man, were not remedied by the appointment of a com- 
missary. 

As Dr. Blair contributed in his day as much to the cause 

* Terms de la Ley. 
K 



74 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1689. 

of learning and the diffusion of Christianity as any indi- 
vidual in the southern colonies of this continent, a passing 
tribute is due to his memory. He was a native of Scot- 
land, in which country he received his education, and was 
beneficed in the Episcopal church there. Having a prospect 
of discharging his ministerial functions more usefully else- 
where, he quitted his preferments, and went into England 
towards the close of the reign of Charles II. The then 
Bishop of London (Dr. Compton) prevailed upon him to 
go as a missionary into Virginia, and his first visit to this 
country was made about the year 1685. A careful and 
diligent observer of the true state of things within the 
colony, he was enabled correctly to apprehend its wants ; 
and by his exemplary deportment and unremitting labours 
in the discharge of his ministerial duties, he did good ser- 
vice to the cause of religion, and obtained the confidence 
and affection of all classes in the community. Recom- 
mended by the intrinsic worth of his character to the 
Bishop of London, he was appointed commissary, as we 
have seen, in 1G89; and so far from relaxing in the dis- 
charge of pastoral duty, after his appointment, he deemed 
himself thereby bound to furnish a brighter example of 
ministerial fidelity and diligence to all the clergy of the 
colony. Dr. Blair was eminently a practical man ; and 
blessed as he was with sincere piety, a clear mind, and in- 
defatigable perseverance, his services were invaluable to the 
church in Virginia. Perceiving that the only safe reliance 
of the country for duly qualified clergymen must be upon 
her own sons, and that the effort to obtain them was hope- 
less in the absence of schools and higher seminaries of 
learning, he directed his energies to the encouragement of 
education. His labours in the cause were unwearied. It 
will be remembered that in the legislation of 1662, one of 
the enactments provided for the erection of a college : this 
wise provision had been permitted to slumber on the sta- 
tute book. Dr. Blair revived the project ; and at no little 



1689.] IN VIRGINIA. 76 

personal expense and labour, succeeded at last, as will be 
seen hereafter, in the accomplishment of his wishes. 

Of the activity and practical usefulness of this excellent 
man, sufficient evidence will be furnished in the statement, 
that when, at the advanced age of eighty-eight, he died, he 
had been during sixty-four years a minister of the gospel ; 
fifty-three years commissary for Virginia ; president of a 
college for forty-nine years ; and a member of the king's 
council for fifty. 

As a monument of his piety, he has left behind him four 
volumes of discourses upon the sermon on the mount, of 
which an opinion may be formed from the fact that they 
received the warm approbation of Dr. Doddridge.* To 
his active usefulness and piety he added learning, and pos- 
sessed in an eminent degree the virtues of hospitality and 
generosity; while his manner in the discharge of his vari- 
ous important duties was such as conciliated the esteem 
and affection of men of all parties and of all opinions. 
With the single exception of Dr. Bray, the commissary of 
Maryland, there was no clergyman of the establishment 
ever sent to this country, during its coloi^ial existence, to 
whom the church in the southern part of the continent was 
more deeply indebted : and the American of this day, as 
he looks upon the walls of William and Mary, the second 
college built upon the continent, may recall, with a feeling 
of thankfulness, the memory of Dr. James Blair.f 

Under the auspices of Sir Francis Nicholson, the first 
act of the commissary w^as an effort to procure the neces- 
sary funds for the erection of the contemplated college. 
The aid of the legislature was deemed necessary, and to 
obtain it, it was proposed that the lieutenant-governor 
should convene an assembly : peculiar circumstances, 



* Family Expositor. phrey's History of the Venerable 

+ Dr. Waterland's Preface to Society, 9, 10, U ; !? Holmes's An-i 

Blair's Discourses ; 3 Bark, 111 ; 2 n^^ls, 22. 

Miller's Retrospect, 336 ; Hum- 



76 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CUURCH [1693. 

however, rendered this measure impossible at that time, 
and all hope of immediate assistance from the legislature 
was abandoned. But Dr. Blair was not easily to be dis- 
couraged. A private subscription-list was opened by him, 
and in a short time two thousand five hundred pounds were 
contributed towards the object ; and this sum was furnished 
in part by the liberality of a few merchants in London. It 
was not until the year 1G91 that legislative patronage was 
obtained for the proposed seminary. In that year the 
project received the sanction of the assembly, and was by 
that body warmly recommended to the patronage of their 
majesties. The commissary was at the same time de- 
puted as the agent of the legislature to visit England, and 
present the petition for the college. The support afforded 
by the lieutenant-governor to the plan deserves honourable 
notice. The legislature, as a testimony of affection and 
respect, having presented to Sir Francis Nicholson the 
sum of three hundred pounds, he immediately bestowed 
one-half of it upon the college. Those who are interested 
in the literature of the country, will gratefully concur in the 
propriety of recording the names of men who were among 
the friends of education in North America, at that early 
period when friends were necessarily few. 

The agency of Dr. Blair proved entirely successful. 
The charter was drawn in exact conformity to his wishes, 
and the whole measure met with the royal favour. The 
sum of two thousand pounds was then due from Virginia 
to the crown on account of certain quit-rents, and this sum 
was bestowed by the king upon the college. In addition 
to this donation, a grant was made to the institution, of 
twenty thousand acres of choice land, together with the 
revenue arising from a tax of one penny per pound on all 
tobacco exported from Virginia or Maryland to any of the 
other colonies ;* and the office of surveyor-general of Vir- 
ginia was granted by the charter to the corporation, to be 

♦ 2 Burk, 311, 313, 314. 



1693.] IN VIRGINIA. 77 

executed by deputies appointed by the president and mas- 
ters, subject to the approbation of the governor and coun- 
cil. The college was also empowered to send one repre- 
sentative to the House of Burgesses ; and Dr. Blair was 
named in the charter as the first president of the new insti- 
tution, which received the name of William and Mary.* 

In the year 1693, the legislature determined that the 
college should be erected at Williamsburg, which was 
then called Middle Plantation ; and not long afterward, an 
export duty for its benefit was imposed upon all skins and 
furs sent out of the colony.f But the indefatigable commis- 
sary was doomed to encounter difficulties still. The money 
which had been subscribed was collected, and the college 
edifice commenced ; but in the year 1705, when it was 
half completed, it was burned to the ground. It was now 
sixteen years since Dr. Blair had first exerted himself in 
this important work ; and at the end of that long period, 
he found himself under the necessity of commencing his 
toilsome task anew. Such discouragements might well 
have damped his ardour ; and had he been an ordinary 
man, it is not improbable that the disappointments of the 
past would have checked all future effort. But true to his 
character, he persevered, and at length had the happiness 
of seeing the college completed. 

The want of clergymen, however, was one not to be 
immediately supplied, even after the college went into 
operation ; and as it was a want very deeply felt, the legis- 
lature, deeming the provision made for ihe clergy inade- 
quate, in 1696 enacted, that each minister should have six- 
teen thousand pounds of tobacco as a salary: and that 
where glebes had not been already purchased, they should 
be forthwith obtained ; and that dwellings should be erected 
upon them for the comfortable residence of the clergy. J 

* Trott's Laws of the British t Troll's Laws, " Virginia," No. 
Plantations, article " Virginia." 34. 

t 3 Hening's Stal., at large, 123. 



78 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1700. 



CHAPTER V. 
1700-1731. 

Kindness to the French Refugees — Their good Character — Their Church — 
Punishment of Vice and Blasphemy — Kindness to German Settlers — 
Their Church — Progress of William and Mary College — Instruction of 
the Indians — List of Parishes — State of the Church — Numbers and 
Character of the Clergy — Causes of the depressed state of Religion 
examined. 

The opening of the century upon which we are now 
entering was marked by an act of humanity, which stands 
out in strong contrast to that spirit of intolerance, already 
recorded, which found its victims among the unfortunate 
Quakers. It is well known that upon the revocation of the 
Edict of Nantes, in 1685, an immense number of French 
Protestants found their way into foreign countries ; of these, 
about forty thousand sought refuge in England, and parlia- 
ment, with a noble generosity, voted fifteen thousand pounds 
sterling to be distributed among persons of quality, and all 
such as were incapable, from age or infirmity, of labouring 
for a subsistence. Of these unfortunate refugees. King 
William, in the year 1690, sent a large portion to Virginia, 
and lands were allotted to them on James River. These 
were naturalized by a special law passed for the purpose, 
and in 1699 another body of six hundred, conducted by 
their clergyman, Phillipe de Richebourg,* came over, and 
were placed on the south side of James River, about 
twenty miles above the falls, on lands formerly occupied by 
a powerful tribe of Indians called the Monacans. 

In the year 1700 the assembly of Virginia passed an act, 

* 1 Martin's History of North Carolina, 233. 



1700.] IN VIRGINIA. 79 

making the French refugees who inhabited the Monacan 
towns a distinct parish by themselves, and exempted them 
from the payment of all taxes.* Strangers, for the most 
part, to the language of the country, their worship could not 
have conformed to the ritual of the Church of England, even 
had such been their inclination, nor could an English clergy- 
man have officiated usefully among them. They had, there- 
fore, their own minister, and worshipped after their own 
mode, and the law already mentioned left them at liberty to 
agree with, and pay their clergyman as their circumstances 
would admit. And never, probably, did any people better 
repay the hospitable kindness of the land which afforded 
them a refuge. Many of their descendants are still left in 
New- York, Virginia, the Carolinas, and other parts of our 
country ; and among the brightest ornaments of the state, 
in the halls of legislation and of justice, as well as in the sa- 
cred office, may be found the names of some of the French 
refugees. No man in America need ever blush to own him- 
self one of their descendants; for the observation has more 
than once been made, and it is believed to be true, that 
among their descendants the instances have been rare in- 
deed of individuals who have been arraigned for crime 
before the courts of the country. 

The law which gave to these emigrants the exemptions 
already mentioned, was, by the terms of its enactment, to 
continue in force for a term of time sufficient to afford them 
an opportunity of becoming familiarized to the country, 
and of qualifying themselves to contribute without diffi- 
culty their quota to the support of the government ; and 
for these purposes seven years was deemed sufficient. 
That it did not prove so, however, is probable from the fact, 
that in 1705 the legislature again re-enacted the former law, 
and extended the term of its continuance, giving at the 



* I Holmes's Annals, 432, 472, 492 ; Trott's Laws, " Virginia" No. 37 ; 
3 Hening's Statutes, at large, 201. 



80 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1705. 

same time to their parish the name of " King William 
parish, in the county of Henrico."* 

The statute book of this year presents also an act for the 
suppression of vice, and the restraint and punishment of 
blasphemous, wicked, and dissolute persons, the provisions 
of which invite notice, simply as being illustrative of the 
temper of the times. It was enacted, that if any person 
brought up in the Christian religion should, by teaching, 
writing, printing, or advised speaking, deny, first, the being 
of God or the Trinity ; secondly, should say there were 
more gods than one ; thirdly, should deny the truth of the 
Christian religion ; or, fourthly, should deny the Divine au- 
thority of the Scriptures, — such offender, upon conviction 
before the general court, for the first offence, should be 
rendered incapable of holding any office, ecclesiastical, 
civil, or military, within the colony ; and for the second 
offence, should be disabled from bringing any suit at law or 
in equity, or from being a guardian, executor, or adminis- 
trator, or grantee in a deed of gift, or legatee or devisee in 
a will, or from bearing any office in the colony for ever ; 
and should also suffer three years imprisonment from the 
time of conviction. To guard, however, against the per- 
version of the law to purposes of oppression, it was 
required that information of the words spoken should be 
given within one month after they were uttered, and that 
the prosecution should be commenced within a year after 
the information. And if public recantation in open court 
were made within six months after the first conviction, the 
offender was to be released from the penalties. For the 
suppression of cursing, swearing, and drunkenness, a fine 
was imposed, recoverable before any magistrate, either 
upon his own personal observation and knowledge of the 
oflTence, or upon the oath of a single witness ; and in case 
of inability to pay the fine, the lash was substituted as a 

♦ Trott'a Laws, " Virginia," No. 38 ; 1 Holmes's Annals, p. 492. 



1713.] IN VIRGINIA. 81 

punishment. For the observance of the Lord's day, every 
person of the age of twenty-one years and upward, who 
should wilfully be absent from the parish church for one 
month, or, being there, should not in a decent and orderly 
manner remain until the service was ended ; or any persons 
who should on that day be present at any disorderly meet- 
ing, gaming or tippling, or should make any journey, or 
travel on the road except to and from church, (cases of 
necessity and mercy excepted,) or who should be found 
working at their ordinary labour, further than was abso- 
lutely necessary for the sustenance of man and beast, 
should, on conviction, be fined, and, on failure to pay the 
fine, should be whipped. From the operation of the clause 
requiring attendance at the parish church, it should however 
be remembered that, by express words, dissenters from the 
establishment were exempted. 

This act was required to be publicly read twice a year 
by each clergyman in the colony, and the fines arising 
under it were to be applied by the churchwardens for the 
benefit of the poor.* 

The year 1713 was rendered memorable by an act of 
kindness shown to certain German emigrants, similar to 
that which had been manifested towards the French refu- 
gees. It seems that a small body of Germans had settled 
above the falls of the Rappahannock, on the southern 
branch of the river, in the county of Essex. This v/as at 
that period the frontier of civilization, and therefore it was 
alike the suggestion of interest and humanity to afford to 
these foreigners protection and encouragement. Accord- 
ingly they were exempted, as the French had been, from 
all ordinary taxes for the term of seven years, and were 
formed into the " parish of St. George," with power to em- 
ploy their own minister and upon their own terms ; and 
thus were two religious communities, differing in many 

* Trott'a Laws, " Virginia," No 46 ; 3 Hening's Statutes, at large, 358. 

X. 



82 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1718. 

particulars from the establishment, not tolerated merely, 
but favoured with valuable privileges by the legisla- 
ture.* 

The college also seems to have possessed the favourable 
regard of the assembly, as in 1718 a law was passed by 
that body, appropriating from the public funds one thou- 
sand pounds, to be applied by the visiters and governors 
of the institution, to the maintenance and education of poor 
children who were natives of the colony.f How far this 
intended benefit was carried into effect is unknown ; it is, 
however, to be hoped that these funds were rendered more 
profitable to the college than were the donations conferred 
upon it by the king and others at its commencement ; for 
of these, according to the testimony of Dr. Blair, the insti- 
tution never received the benefit of one-half.J Indeed, 
notwithstanding all the efforts of the president and other 
friends of the college, its progress was by slow and labori- 
ous steps. The practice was common among the higher 
classes of society, of sending their sons to be educated at 
one of the English universities ; nor could it be entirely 
overcome after they had a college among themselves. 
For more than seventy years after its establishment, it is 
said, it had rarely more than twenty students at any one 
time.§ There are circumstances, however, which justify 
the suspicion of mistake in this statement. 

As connected with the history of this institution, it deserves 
here to be recorded that the rulers in the colony and the offi- 
cers of the college manifested a praiseworthy zeal in the en- 
deavour to make it a blessing to the children of the natives. 
The honourable Robert Boyle had made a donation of 
money to the institution, to be applied to the education of 

* Trott's Laws, «' Virginia," No. in 1727, Of these, Mr. Hartwell was 

39; 4 Hening's Slat., at large, 306. one of the council; and Mr. Chil- 

+ 4 Hening's Stat., at large, 74. ton was attorney-general, Dr. Blair's 

t " The present State of Virginia situation has already been stated. 

and the College," by Mr. Hartwell, ^ 2 Miller's Retrospect, 336. 

Dr. Blair, and Mr. Chilton, published 



1722.] IN VIRGINIA. 88 

Indian children therein. To carry into effect this benevo- 
lent intention, the plan at first adopted was to procure cap- 
tive Indian children, who had been made slaves by some 
conquering tribe, and place them in the college for instruc- 
tion; but during the administration of Sir Alexander Spots- 
wood, who came to the government in 1710, this plan was 
laid aside, and one was substituted for it which was far 
more effectual in accomplishing the ends of the benevolent 
donor. The governor went in person among the tributary 
and other neighbouring tribes of Indians, and prevailed 
upon them to send their children to be educated. He 
exerted himself, also, so successfully among remote and 
almost unknown tribes, that he obtained native pupils from 
a distance of more than four hundred miles in the interior ; 
some of these he had taken as hostages, purposely to afford 
them the advantages of education ; and, at his own expense, 
he established and supported a preparatory school on the 
frontiers, in which Indian lads might be fitted for admission 
into the college, without being far removed from their 
parents.* 

Of the number and situation of the parishes in the 
colony, about this time, and of the general condition of the 
church, more is known with certainty than at any previous 
period in this narrative. Casting the eye upon the map of 
Virginia, the most striking features of its eastern portion 
are the majestic rivers which find their way into the Chesa- 
peake Bay. These rivers naturally enough formed conve- 
nient boundaries for the larger portions of the countrv; 
and the name of neck was applied to the region of territory 
lying between two of these noble streams ; a term, the 
use of which is still common. The division is one of 
great convenience, and in former times was important, as 
fixing the boundaries of the several escheators. Of these 
necks there are four; the northern neck is situated be* 

• Beverly's Virginia. 



84 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1722. 

tween the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers ; the second 
between the Rappahannock and York ; the third, be- 
tween York and Jannes ; and the fourth on the south 
side of the James, between it and the southern frontier of 
the colony. Besides these, there was one other grand di- 
vision on the opposite side of the Chesapeake Bay, form- 
ing what then was, and still is, called the " eastern shore." 
There were at that day six counties within the northern 
neck, which still retain their names; viz., 1. Lancaster, 
having within it the two parishes of Christ Church and 
St. Mary White Chapel; 2. Northumberland., having two, 
Fairfield and Boutracy, and Wicomico ; 3, Westmoreland, 
containing Copely and Washington; 4. Richmond, con- 
taining North Farnham and a part of Sittenburn ; 5. King 
George, containing Hanover and the residue of Sitten- 
burn ; 6. Stafford, containing St. Pauls and Overworton. 

In the neck between Rappahannock and York rivers 
there were also six counties, the names of which are still 
there, though portions of their territory have since been 
appropriated to the formation of additional counties. 
These six were, 1. Glocester, in which were situated the 
four parishes of Pesso, Abingdon, Ware, and Kingston ; 

2. Middlesex, containing the single parish of Christ Church; 

3. King and Queen, having the parishes of Stratton Major 
and St. Stephens ; 4. King William, containing St. Johns 
and St. Margarets; 5. Essex, in which were South Farn- 
ham, St. Anne, and St. Marys ; 6. Spotsylvania, which 
contained the parish of St. George. 

In the neck between York and James rivers there were 
seven entire counties, and part of an eighth. These seven 
were, 1. Elizabeth City, which contained a parish of the 
same name ; 2. Warwick, containing the parishes of Denby 
and Mulberry Island ; 3. York, in which were the two 
parishes of Charles and York-Hampton, and part of a 
third called Bruton ; 4. James City, in which were James 
City, Merchants Hundred, and a third, the name of which 



1722.] IN VIRGINIA. 85 

is unknown, together with the residue of Bruton, and a part 
of Wilmington ; 5. New-Kent, which contained Blisland 
and St. Peters ; 6. Charles City, having within it Western 
and part of Wilmington; 1. Hanover, in which was St. 
Pauls. The eighth county, of which a part only was 
within this neck, was Henrico, which was divided by the 
James River, and contained the parishes of Henrico and 
St. James, separated from each other by the river; and a 
part also of the parish of Bristol. 

On the south side of James River were seven entire 
counties, together with the remaining part of Henrico. 
These were, 1. Princess Ann, in which was the parish of 
Lynhaven ; 2. Norfolk, with one parish called Elizabeth 
River; 3. Nansemond, in which were included Lower 
Parish, Upper Parish, and Chickabuc ; 4. Isle of Wight, 
containing Warwick, Squeake Bay, and Newport ; 5. 
Surry, having Lyon's Creek and Southwark; 6. Prince 
George, in which was Martin Brandon and the rest of 
Bristol ; 7. Brunswick, the whole of which formed the parish 
of St. Andrews. 

On the eastern shore were the two counties of Northamp- 
ton audi Accomac; the first contained the parish of Hun- 
gers; the second that of Accomac. Thus it will be per- 
ceived that the whole number of counties was twenty-nine ; 
and of parishes there were fifty-four.* There was, how- 
ever, great inequality in the size of these parishes. Some 
were sixty miles long ; while others were very small. 
This was accidental, and resulted from the settlements 
having been first formed on bodies of good land near to 
the rivers. It must be remembered that the size of a 
parish was estimated, not entirely by the extent of its terri- 
tory, but by the number of its tithables.f 

In each of these parishes there was a convenient church 

• Beverly's Virginia. t Present State of Virginia, p. 66. 

Beverly's Virginia. 



86 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1722. 

edifice, built of stone, brick, or wood, and furnished with 
all things necessary for the decent performance of divine 
service. In many of the larger parishes there were also 
one or more chapels of ease ; so that probably the whole 
number of places of worship was not less than seventy. 
In every parish there was also a dwelling-house for the 
minister ; in most, if not in all of them, a glebe of two 
hundred and fifty acres, and in some, a small stock of 
cattle.* 

The inhabitants were almost entirely of the Church of 
England, and at the period now under review, there is said 
to have been but one dissenting place of worship in the 
colony ; this was a meeting-house for a small congregation 
of Quakers in Nansemond county.f But it is believed, on 
the authority of Dr. Blair, J that this statement is incorrect ; 
as he informs us that there were three meeting-houses for 
the Quakers, and one for the Presbyterians. 

More than half of the churches of the establishment 
were probably supplied with clergymen ; and in such as 
were destitute of regular ministrations, it seems to have 
been the custom to substitute the services of a lay reader, 
except on occasions when the zeal of a neighbouring minis- 
ter prompted him to carry his pastoral labours beyond the 
limits of his own parish, and to preach or administer sacra- 
ments in the vacant churches near to him. 

One hundred and fifteen years had now elapsed since the 
first clergyman landed in Virginia, and yet candour calls 
for the acknowledgment that the state of religion was much 
lower than in some of the other colonies. It was not that 
the government had been entirely indiflferent to their under- 

* The Present State of Virginia, ish, at Williamsburg, the seat of the 

p. 71. This volume was written by colonial government, 

the reverend Hugh Jones, who lived t Beverly's Virginia, 

for many years in the colony, and was t Present State of Virginia and 

at one time a lecturer in Bruton par- the College, p. 64. 



1722.] IN viRomiA. 87 

taking to make provision for its support : to outward ap- 
pearance the condition of the church seemed prosperous 
enough. The traveller, in his journeyings through the 
colony, might see on every hand the neat spire of a sub- 
stantial church lifting its head amid the foliage of the forest 
in which it was placed ; his eye rested on the cultivated 
grounds which surrounded the comfortable habitations of 
the clergy ; and he might from these tokens have hastily 
concluded that he was in the bosom of a deeply pious popu- 
lation : yet was there, in very many, a lamentable want of 
the practical fruits of godliness. There was a deficiency 
of spirituality in the religion of that day. The "form of 
sound words" which imbodied devotion, most useful as an 
auxiliary in the united worship of a congregation, and beau- 
tifully chaste and simple in the ritual of the church to which 
the colonists belonged, was scrupulously observed ; but in 
the use of that form alone, too many, it is to be feared, 
rested : such use was substituted for the power of godliness 
in renewing a sinful nature ; for the operation of the Holy 
Ghost upon an unsanctified heart. It would be unjust to 
include all in this sentence. There is evidence that some, 
both of clergy and laity, were deeply imbued with the 
spirit of genuine piety ; they were worthy and consistent 
Christians ; but they certainly did not form the most numer- 
ous class of the population. 

In the contemplation of this state of things, points arise 
well worthy of attentive consideration : they imbody the 
lessons of experience, and it is therefore hoped that a brief 
examination of facts connected with this unhappy condition 
of affairs will prove neither uninteresting nor useless. 

And first, as to the clergy of the colony. The usual 
mode of obtaining a living was this : the clergyman in Eng- 
land, who was desirous of emigrating to Virginia, informed 
the Bishop of London of his willingness to become a mis- 
sionary to the colony. Upon producing his letters of orders 
and testimonials as to character, he obtained from the 



88 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [17221. 

bishop a license and certificate, together with an order on 
the treasurer for the sum of twenty pounds, to defray the 
expenses of the voyage. On his arrival in the colony, he 
applied to the governor, (who was in effect the chief ruler 
in the church,) or to the parishioners of some vacant living, 
and sometimes to both : and if his ministrations were agree- 
able to the congregation, he was " received" (such was the 
term in use) as their minister.* It must not, however, be 
supposed that by being thus received, the clergyman ac- 
quired a permanent settlement. By the act of 1642,t the 
induction of a clergyman "into any parish that shall make 
presentation of him," was directed to be performed by the 
governor ; but it was entirely at the option of the parish to 
make or withhold such presentation. Without induction, 
the clergyman was held to possess no freehold in his living, 
but was at any time liable to removal, at the pleasure of 
the vestry, without trial or even crime alleged against him. 
Under these circumstances, there were but few of the clergy 
who could consider their situations as permanent, for there 
were but few who could prevail upon their vestries to pre- 
sent them for induction.^ The general custom, therefore, 
was to hire the minister from year to year.§ 

With every disposition on the part of the Bishop of Lon- 
don to send none but deserving clergymen into the colony, 
(and of the anxiety of several of the prelates of that see 
in this particular there is abundant proof,) still it was 
scarcely possible to avoid making at times injudicious ap- 
pointments : for clergymen of reputation, fixed in comfort- 
able livings at home, were not often among the applicants to 
go abroad ; and the class of clergymen needed in Virginia 
seems to have been but imperfectly understood at home. 
Men of piety, experience, and prudence, men well ac- 
quainted with the world, were the only men whose services 

* Jones's " State of Virginia," p. X Beverly's Virginia. 
103. i Present State of Virginia, by 

t Ante, p. 63. _ Hartwell, Blair, and Chilton, p. 66. 



1722.] IN VIRGINIA. 89 

in Virginia promised extensive usefulness; but such men 
found ample and profitable employment in England. 
The class which usually came (the assertion is made 
on the authority of a contemporary*) was one unfitted, 
from entire ignorance of human nature, as well as from 
the absence of discretion and prudence, to appreciate the 
true condition of the country. They were utterly unable 
to accommodate themselves to the perpetually recurring 
exigencies of a new country, and a state of society, of 
which, as the past afforded no precedent, so neither could 
it furnish any guides to conduct. The egregious mistake 
was made by many who recommended clergymen to the 
Bishop of London, of supposing that very inferior powers 
of mind, and but a limited stock of attainments, would suf- 
fice for a missionary to Virginia; whereas if any station 
on earth calls for the loftiest spirit of devotion, a nobleness 
of soul which can forget self, and intellectual endowments 
of the highest order, it is that of the Christian missionary. 
Men of inferior capacities may be useful in the ministry of 
the church, for God, in his wise providence, often makes 
them the honoured instruments of good to their fellow-men ; 
but such men are not often designed to be pioneers in the 
great work of planting the church of God in regions where 
it is utterly unknown. 

Many of the clergy, therefore, were, as might have been 
anticipated, unfitted for their stations. The precariousness 
of the tenure by which they held their livings, contributed 
also not a little to beget in them a spirit of indifference in 
the discharge of their duties; and to complete the list of 
unpropitious circumstances, the irregularities and crimes of 
an unworthy clergyman could not be visited effectually 
with the severities of ecclesiastical censure. Far removed 
from his diocesan, and standing in but little awe of the 
powers of his commissary, he sometimes offended religion 

* Jones's State of Virginia, appendix, 95. 
M 



90 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1722. 

and morals with impunity, and still remained in the church 
a reproach to her ministry. The commissary could not 
degrade him by a removal from the priesthood ; it was 
beyond his authority ; and even in the exercise of his ordi- 
nary powers and duties, he was obliged to encounter the 
prejudices of the people themselves. He summoned the 
clergy, indeed, to conventions, in which he presided ; but 
these conventions possessed but the shadow of power.* 
He attempted visitations, but with little success; for un- 
fortunately, they were strangely associated in the minds of 
the people with ecclesiastical courts, and of these, from 
the times of Archbishop Laud, even the very name was 
offensive in Virginia. f 

If we turn from the clergy to the laity, facts present 
themselves, such as might naturally be supposed to exist 
under the ministrations of such a body of clergy. Indeed, 
it scarce admits of doubt, that between the two classes 
there was a mutual action and reaction for evil ; each 
probably contributed to make the other worse. Disputes 
were perpetually arising between pastors and people; 
and, almost without exception, they might be traced to the 
uncertainty of a living which harrassed the clergyman.J 
There are instances recorded which show the fact of ex- 
clusion of the minister on grounds purely mercenary. It 
has, indeed, been said by an historian, whose general ac- 
curacy is acknowledged, that the clergy were very rarely 
removed by the parish without some great provocation ; 
and then, if their conduct had not been grossly scan- 
dalous, it is said, they were immediately received into 
other parishes.§ There is error in this statement. Upon 
the testimony of the commissary himself, confirmed by that 
of one of the governor's council, and of the attorney-gen- 

♦ Jones's State of Virginia, 23, et t Jones, 72. 

Beq. ^ Beverly. 

+ Jones's State of the Church, 26, 
98. 



1722.] IN VIRGINIA. 91 

era), it is denied. If a clergyman was faithful to his duty, 
and preached a«i;ainst the sins and vices of his people, he 
was rennoved : and the instances are numerous of clergy- 
men having been displaced by vestries without a charge 
made, or even a reason assigned for it.* The same fact 
is also confirmed by a contemporary to whom reference 
has already been made.f He states that the clergy had 
the church doors often shut against them, and their sala- 
ries were stopped by the vestry ; who, as he expresses it, 
" thought themselves the parson's master ;" and he cites 
instances in proof of his assertion. Some of these instances 
may, perhaps, not be unacceptable, as affording an illustra- 
tion of a lawless condition of affairs, quite sufficient to de- 
stroy the spiritual welfare of any church. A deacon had 
visited England to obtain priest's orders; during his ab- 
sence his parishioners had seen fit to choose another clergy- 
man ; and on his return, when sent by the governor to his 
parish, the people peremptorily refused to receive him, and 
he was left without redress. It is difficult here to deter- 
mine whether the people or the intruding clergyman was 
most in fault ; but that a clergyman could thus effectually 
supplant an absent brother, certainly affords proof of a 
lamentable want of discipline and church order. Another 
instance is afforded in the case of a Mr. Latane, a French 
gentleman of learning and piety, who, because of some 
trifling dispute with a portion of his vestry, was shut out 
of his church. The reason assii:;ned for this act of exclu- 
sion was (according to our authority) " that he had a small 
tang of French in his speech, and they could not under- 
stand him," though, as he adds, they were long in making 
the discovery, for they had been hearing him for seven 
years without complaint. It was also not unusual, in case 
of a vacancy by death or otherwise, for the people actually 

* Present State of Virginia, by t JoncB> 104, 105 

Hartwell, Blair, and Chilton, p 66. 



92 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1722. 

to refuse to proceed to the election of a successor, that they 
might escape the payment of a salary which did not exceed 
eighty pounds.* 

The effect of such a system, as was stated by the com- 
missary, was to make the clergy, who were not inducted, 
subservient and dependant : and good clergymen refused 
to come over, because they had been taught by ihe experi- 
ence of those who preceded them, and who had retreated 
as soon as they could, that if they came, insult and oppres- 
sion awaited them.f Another evil, more properly to be 
attributed to the general state of feeling among the people, 
than to any necessary connection with the system of lay 
reading which had been introduced, was found to follow 
upon that system. The readers employed were com- 
monly the parish clerks, who imitated the practices of the 
clergy in the performance of their public duties in almost 
everything except the use of the clerical vestments and the 
administration of the sacraments ; these men were some- 
times made use of as instruments by a discontented ves- 
try ; and in the absence of the clergy, not unfrequently 
succeeded in procuring the favourable opinions of the 
parishioners, and in sowing disaffection towards a minister 
among the people of his charge. J 

These facts leave but little room for wonder at the dis- 
covery that Christianity, in the blessed and salutary influ- 
ences of its power over the hearts and lives of men, was ex- 
hibited by but few. These facts may also serve to remove 
an opinion entertained by some, that the depressed state of 
religion in Virginia was the natural and unavoidable result of 
B.nesiablishme7it. Whatever maybe the evils which are sup- 
posed necessarily to flow from extending to any one religi- 

♦ Present State of A'^irginia, by uniform in all parts of the country, it 

Blair, &c., G6. may not improperly be mentioned, 

t Ibid. 66. that according to Jones the surplice 

t Jones, 68. As clerical vest- was never dispensed with in Virginia 

ments have here been spoken of, and in his day, except from absolute ne- 

the use of the surplice has not been cessity. Jones, p. 69. 



1727.] IN VIRGINIA. 93 

oils system the exclusive patronage of the state, candour 
requires the admission here, that the calamitous condition 
of the church in things spiritual must be traced to some 
other cause. EstabUshments, it must be remembered, were 
not confined to Virginia : in the colonies of Massachusetts 
Bay and Connecticut, the system of the Independents was 
as much estabHshed as the Church of England was in Vir- 
ginia ; and yet the two first named colonies are, even at 
this day, adduced, and with great propriety, as examples 
of communities in wiiich was found a degree of devoted 
piety and practical rehgion unsurpassed in the history of 
any communities of the same extent. It could not therefore 
have been that the estabhshment simply of the Church of 
England in Virginia was the cause of the evils which have 
been described. 

There is also another consideration which would 
seem to refute this opinion. The Church of England, 
it is true, was nominally placed under the protection 
of the state ; but it certainly derived, in many important 
particulars, no protection from it. In effect, it was not 
an estabhshment. It experienced the evils of an alli- 
ance without reapiiig its advantages. Its clergy were not 
secured in the permanent enjoyment of its livings, but were 
left entirely dependent upon the will of their parishioners; 
while the parishioners were, perhaps, not unfrequenlly 
tempted to annoy their clergyman, as an easy mode of 
manifesting displeasure towards their rulers. The plan 
was essentially a popular one, and the mere name of es- 
tablishment cannot change its character. It may safely, 
therefore, be said that, to most practical purposes, it was 
no establishment at all ; and there certainly was wanting 
that feature which is commonly supposed to be most fatal 
to ardent piety in establishments, namely, comfortable 
livings permanently secured to indolent or unfaithful in- 
cumbents. 

And if it should be supposed that the Church of England 
in Virginia, while it neglected to secure its own clergy in 



94 PKOTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1727. 

the enjoyment of a competent maintenance, yet, by virtue 
of its established character, excluded pious ministers of 
other denominations, and therefore contributed to the de- 
pressed state of religion among the people ; it should be 
remembered that at this period they were not excluded. 
Ii is stated, upon the evidence of the commissary, that a 
Presbyterian congregation existed at this very time in the 
colony ; and there is positive testimony to show the period 
at which it was introduced, as the following extracts from 
the records of the Presbyterian church will evince. Under 
the year 1722, it is said, "A representation being made by 
some of our members of the earnest desires of some Pro- 
testant dissenting families in Virginia, together with a com- 
fortable prospect of the increase of our interest there, the 
synod have appointed that Mr. Hugh Conn, Mr. John 
Orme, and Mr. William Stewart, do each of them severally 
visit said people, and preach four Sabbaths to them, between 
this and the next synod ;" and under the succeeding year 
it is stated, that " Messrs. Conn, Orme, and Stewart, ful- 
filled their appointment with respect to Virginia."* Upon 
the report of these gentlemen, measures were taken to con- 
tinue ministerial services to the members of the infant con- 
gregation. And it will be seen, in the future pages of this 
narrative, that their number speedily increased, so that long 
before the period of the American Revolution, there were 
ministers and congregations of various Christian denomi- 
nations in the colony. The existence of the establish- 
ment, therefore, did not operate to their exclusion; and 
when once introduced, their situation was similar to that 
of ministers of the establishment, for both were dependent 
on the will of the people. 

The evil, then, must be traced to another cause, and that 
■will be found in the characters of a majority of the clergy, 
and in the temper and conduct of the people ; and, a-s has 
been already intimated, each contributed to produce the 

* From First Book of Minutes of the Presbytery of Philadelphia. 



1727.] IN VIRGINIA. 95 

other. Some improvement in the condition of things would 
probably have been seen, had Virginia, hke Massachusetts, 
been furnished, for the most part, with native clergymen ; 
but the most effectual remedy would have been found in 
the presence of some controlling power, able to correct and 
punish the irregularities and crimes of unworthy ministers, 
to introduce and encourage good ones, and to exercise a 
wholesome influence in securing to deserving men a com- 
petent maintenance. The reformation of the laity would 
have followed as a consequence of these things. A faithful 
bishop would have been a blessing to the colony, and this 
was plainly perceived by the worthy part of the clergy in 
Virginia ;* nor did they hesitate to ask that one might be 
sent, with powers so limited in certain particulars as to 
allay the suspicious fears of the people, who dreaded no- 
thing more than ecclesiastical tyranny. The necessity of 
such an oflicer was felt, too, by the wisest and best men in 
the church at home; and before this period efforts had been 
made by the venerable society for propagating the Gospel 
in foreign parts, which were perseveringly continued for 
many years, to have a bishop consecrated and sent to these 
colonies.f These efforts failed more than once, when the 
plan seemed to be on the eve of accomplishment, and the 
wisdom of that Providence which defeated its success, 
though inscrutable at the time, seems now to be sufficiently 
obvious. 

Whatever may be thought of the claim of episcopacy 
to be considered as the only apostolic system of eccle- 
siastical order, one point, it is presumed, will be acceded 
to by all. It is this ; that among those who hold to its pro- 
priety and necessity, there should be no unnecessary delay 
in furnishing to a distant church an officer so important as 
a bishop. A community of Episcopal churches witiiout a 
bishop to preside over them, must be viewed, upon the sys- 

* Jones, p. 99. a distinct part in a future volume of 

t The history of these efforts forms this work. 



95 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1727. 

tem of Episcopalians, as a body without a head. The 
mother country, which then withheld this essential ecclesi- 
astical officer from these colonies, has in later days pursued 
a different, and, it is thought, far wiser course. Her colo- 
nies are now^supplied ; and the increase in that supply 
keeps pace, as it should do, with the necessities of her 
growing settlements.* 

Whether the obstacles to the spiritual welfare of the 
church, which have just been detailed, were duly appre- 
ciated by those in authority, may well be doubted ; though 
an insufficiency in the salaries of the clergy seems not to 
have escaped attention. It will be remembered that under 

* In the course of his researches, in preparing these pages, the author has 
met with an attestation so unexpected to the expediency of a government 
essentially episcopal, that he here presents it. It comes from the Baptists, 
and is to be found in the record of the proceedings of that sect in Vir- 
ginia. In an association of the churches, held in 1774, it was determined 
that apostles were officers which still belonged to the church of Christ ; this 
was founded on Eph. iv. 11, 12, 13. 

The association, having thus determined, proceeded " to the choice of an 
apostle," and the individual was set apart by having the hands of every 
ordained minister laid on him. " His work was to pervade the churches, to 
do, or at least to see to the work of ordination, and to set in order things 
that were wanting, and to make report to the next association." 

The subject underwent much discussion, and it is said by the Baptist 
historian, that the warmth of the debate excited against some a strong 
suspicion of vanity and ambition. Soon after, two others were appointed 
apostles. The plan was at length abandoned : the unholy passions which 
have been hinted at, it is probable- were exercised in the efl'ort to make it 
nugatory ; but, be this as it may, the apostles made but a discouraging 
report of their success to the association, and none others were ever ap- 
pointed. They were viewed as officers of human appointment merely, and this 
may explain the facts of opposition to them, and of their final suppression. 
"This," says our authority, " is only the old plan of bishops, &c., under a 
new name ;" and " either the spirit of free government ran too high among 
the churches to submit," or the thing " not being from God, soon fell." 
Whatever may have been the cause of its discontinuance, the fact of its 
introduction would seem to intimate that the necessity was felt of some- 
thing like episcopal supervision. — Semple's History of the Rise and Pronr- 
ress of the Baptists in Virginia, pp. 58, 59. 



1727.] ix\ VIRGINIA. 97 

the law of 1662, the clergy were to receive an annual 
stipend in the commodities of the country, equivalent in 
value to eighty pounds: but a depreciation in the value 
of the chief staple of the country, tobacco, having dimin- 
ished the worth of the clergyman's salaries about one-sixth, 
to remedy the evil, the legislature of 1727 enacted that 
"every minister, received into any parish hy the vestry," 
should have an annual salary of sixteen thousand pounds of 
tobacco, together with the cask in which it was packed. 
Not less than two hundred acres of land was also directed 
to be purchased and appropriated for a glebe in each parish, 
and comfortable buildings, where they did not already 
exist, were to be provided for the use of the minister at the 
expense of the parish. The minister on his part was bound 
to keep all the buildings in repair during his incumbency ; 
and on failure so to do, he was made liable to an action at 
the suit of the churchwardens. 

It is evident that this law, however just it may have been 
in providing a competent maintenance for the clergy, was 
still deficient. The true cause of the evil was left un- 
touched, for the clergy were not secured in the enjoyment 
of their salaries. It was still optional with the vestries to 
receive them, and they might still refuse to present them for 
induction, without which they acquired no permanent in- 
terest. The usual practice under this enactment was this : 
when a parish became vacant, the governor and commis- 
sary wrote commendatory letters to the vestry, upon 
which the clergyman recommended was generally re- 
ceived into the parish, and took benefit of its temporals 
and charge of its spirituals, so long as it might please the 
people to permit him.* 

Before dismissing the subject of clerical salaries, it is due 
to the assemblies of Virginia to state, that in general a de- 
sire was manifested to make a provision for the mainte- 

* Letter to the Clergy of Virginia, by Richard Bland, Esquire. 

N 



98 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1727, 

nance of their ministers as ample as the condition of the 
country would allow. The character of Virginia has ever 
been marked by a spirit of liberality and generosity, nor 
did she detract from that character in her treatment of 
the clergy, so far as the amount of salary is concerned ; 
thus, when in 1731 a law was passed for the inspec- 
tion of tobacco, which in its operation excluded from the 
market such as was of inferior quality, the value of the 
minister's salaries increased to one hundred, and in some 
instances to one hundred and twenty pounds ; and the 
legislature interfered not, but allowed them the full benefit 
of the increase in value. It should not, however, be con- 
cealed, that while thus liberal in providing for temporal 
wants, there was a suspicious apprehension of ecclesias- 
tical domination, founded upon some of the past incidents 
of English ecclesiastical history, which probably led to the 
mistake of not securing the clergyman against the caprice 
of his flock. 



1731.] IN VIRGINIA. 09 



CHAPTER VI. 
1731-1746. 

Introduction of Presbyterians — Visit of Mr. Whitfield — Low state of Reli- 
gion — Efforts of Morris to revive it — His Character and Conduct — Amus- 
ing example of his Simplicity and Ignorance — Charge of the Governor 
to the Grand Jury against Presbyterians — Mr. Roan's Case — Help from 
Synod in New-York — Reverend Samuel Davies, his Character and La- 
bours — Act of Toleration extended to Virginia — Dread of Popery and 
New Lights — Commencement of struggle with Dissenters — Morgan 
Morgan. 

Thus far we have endeavoured to trace the course of the 
church in Virginia, while she continued to be almost the 
only religious denomination. In her future progress we 
shall have occasion to view her in company with other reli- 
gious societies, which began to spring up around her. It 
has already been seen that a few meetings of Quakers, and 
one society of Presbyterians, had obtained something like 
a permanent existence within the limits of the colony. 
There is, however, evidence that the number of Presbyte- 
rian societies was greater than is here named. There was 
but one society, it is probable, in the eastern part of the 
colony, as stated by Commissary Blair ; but in the more 
remote western parts, which had been opened to the enter- 
prise of the colonists by the exploring expeditions under 
Governor Spottswood, it is believed that there were several 
Presbyterian societies. On the western side of the Blue 
Ridge, a large proportion of the early settlers, who in the 
first instance came from Ireland, and last from Pennsylva- 
nia, were dissenters. They were so far removed from the 
seat of the colonial government, that they encountered but 



100 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1740. 

little opposition from the ruling powers, and their congre- 
gations were regularly organized and placed under the care 
of pastors whose names have come down to us.* In the 
year 1740, that extraordinary man, the reverend Mr. Whit- 
field, visited Virginia, and experienced a kind reception at 
the hands of the commissary, Dr. Blair. At his request, 
Mr. Whitfield preached at the seat of government, and in 
other places ; and it is not improbable that his ministrations 
tended to create an increased interest on religious subjects 
among some of the members of the establishment. At any 
rate, he obtained a ready and unprejudiced hearing, be- 
cause he was a clergyman of the Church of England, and 
a deeper sense of piety was exhibited among some of the 
establishment soon after his visit.f 

It is not calumny to say, that at the period in which de- 
partures from the church first took place, religion was in a 
deplorably low state. The causes of this have already 
been placed before the reader, and they certainly are suffi- 
cient to account for the fact. But we must not too hastily 
conclude that there was no real piety left in the colony, nor 
that the irreligious were all members of the establishment. 
On both these points we have the direct testimony of one 
who was an eyewitness, and who in fact organized presby- 
terianism in Eastern Virginia. " I have reason to hope," 
says he, " there are and have been a few names in various 
parts of the colony, who are sincerely seeking the Lord, 
and groping after religion in the communion of the Church 
of England."J Some such he knew ; while, on the other 
hand, he informs us, that " there are and have been in this 
colony a great number of Scotch merchants, who were 
educated Presbyterians ; but (I speak but what their con- 
duct more loudly proclaims) they generally, upon their 
arrival here, prove scandals to their religion and country, 

• Appendix to Campbell's History + Davies' State of Religion among 
of Virginia, p. 304. Dissenters in Virginia, p. 10. 

t Ibid. p. 5. 



1742.] IN VIRGINIA. 101 

by their loose principles and immoral practices; and either 
fall into an indifTerency about religion in general, or affect 
to be polite by turning deists, or fashionable by conforming 
to the church."* The testimony of this witness will per- 
haps be deemed unexceptionable, when it is stated that he 
manifests no bigoted prejudice against the church. " Had 
the doctrines of the Gospel," says he, " been solemnly and 
faithfully preached in the established church, I am per- 
suaded there would have been but few dissenters in these 
parts of Virginia ; for their first objections were not against 
the peculiar rites and ceremonies of that church, much less 
against her excellent articles, but against the general strain 
of the doctrines delivered from the pulpit, in which these 
articles were opposed, or (which was the more common 
case) not mentioned at all ; so that at first they were not 
properly dissenters from the original constitution of the 
Church of England, but the most strict adherents to it, and 
only dissented from those who had forsaken it."f 

The task, however, of dwelling upon such a picture is 
far from grateful, and therefore we gladly pass on to a 
statement of soine of the steps towards reformation. An 
individual whose piety it would be wrong to question, 
though it was not always tempered with discretion, J seems 
to have been made the means of good to many ; and he 
certainly was the instrument of introducing several Pres- 
byterian clergymen into the eastern part of the colony. 
This man, whose name was Morris, having, about this 
time, become deeply interested in the salvation of his soul, 
and having found comfort in the doctrine of " Christ cruci- 
fied," felt himself called on to speak with his neighbours 
and friends, and exhort them in conversation to devote 
themselves to the service of God. His attainments, if we 
may judge from his letters, seem to have been limited, and 



* Davies' State of Religion, p. t Ibid. p. 6. 

29, note. t Ibid. p. 9. 



102 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1742. 

he never undertook to preach ; but he read to such of his 
neighbours as would become his auditors the few books 
which had been profitable to him. Among these, Luther on 
Galatians, and some of John Bunyan's works, held a con- 
spicuous place. His reading was not without effect, as some 
of his hearers entered into his feelings, and manifested an 
interest in things spiritual, to which they were before 
strangers. It was not long before he added to his little 
library a volume of sermons which Mr. Whitfield had 
preached in Glasgow, and he forthwith invited his neigh- 
bours to come and hear them. Their perusal was so far 
blessed, that several were brought to serious reflection, 
which resulted in repentance towards God and faith in the 
Redeemer. On every Lord's day, and sometimes on other 
days of the week, Morris read these sermons at his dwell- 
ing, and his neighbours flocked to hear them. At length it 
was determined to build a meeting-house for the purpose of 
reading only. No prayers were used, for none of the little 
flock felt competent to undertake the task of praying ex- 
tempore, and the services of the church were probably 
associated in their minds with the want of piety so deplo- 
rably manifested by many of its members. The fame of 
Morris as a reader soon spread, and he obeyed invitations 
from other parts of the country at some distance from his 
dwelling. But now an obstacle arose to further proceed- 
ings, which seems not to have been anticipated. Morris 
and his hearers had absented themselves from the worship 
of the parish church, contrary to the laws of the land, as 
they were informed ; and some of them were summoned 
to court to answer for the offence. They appear, however, 
on this occasion not to have been seriously molested ; and 
there is an amusing simplicity manifested in the ignorance 
of Morris and his adherents as to the distinctive names of 
the diflerent religious sects in Christendom. They were 
asked to declare the denomination to which they belonged . 
they knew nothing of any dissenters but the Quakers, and 



1743.J IN VIRGINIA. 103 

they were not disposed to class themselves with them ; at 
length, (as Morris himself states,) they were fortunately 
relieved from their embarrassment by his recollecting that 
Luther was a noted reformer, and that his book had been 
useful to them ; and they declared themselves Lutherans, 
without having the slightest intention to encroach upon the 
rights of another denomination by an appropriation of its 
name. 

This name they retained until they were better in- 
structed in 1743 by the Rev. Mr. Robinson, a Presbyterian 
minister, who had been sent by the presbytery of New- 
castle to visit Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina. 
Under the guidance of Mr. Robinson, they were taught to 
conduct the public worship of God according to the forms 
used among Presbyterians, and to the reading of sermons, 
extempore prayer and singing were now added. Mr. 
Robinson was speedily followed by other clergymen of his 
denomination, and now the attention of government seems 
to have been excited. 

Early in 1745, the governor in an address to the grand 
jury of the general court, confined his remarks almost ex- 
clusively to the introduction into the colony of a system of 
religious worship different from that of the establishment ; 
extracts from this address will best exhibit the view taken 
by the government. 

"I must on this occasion turn to your thoughts, and 
recommend to your present service another subject of im- 
portance, which, I thank God, has been unusual, but I hope 
will be most effectual ; I mean the information I have re- 
ceived of certain false teachers that are lately crept into 
this government; who, without order or license, or pro- 
ducing any testimonial of their education or sect, professing 
themselves ministers, under the pretended influence of new 
light, extraordinary impulse, and such like satirical and 
cnthusiastical knowledge, lead the innocent and ignorant 



104 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1745. 

people into all kinds of delusion : and in this frantic and 
prophane disguise, such is their heterodoxy, that they treat 
all other modes of worship with the utmost scorn and con- 
tempt; and as if they had bound themselves on oath to do 
many things against the religion of the blessed Jesus, that 
pillar and stay of the truth and reformed church, to the 
great dishonour of Almighty God, and the discomfort of 
serious Christians, they endeavour to make their followers 
believe that salvation is not to be obtained in their own 
communion. 

" As this denunciation, if I am rightly advised, in words 
not decent to repeat, has been by one of them publicly 
affirmed, and shows what manner of spirit they all of them 
are of, in a country hitherto remarkable for uniformity in 
worship, and where the saving truths of the gospel are 
constantly inculcated ; I did promise myself, either that 
their preaching would be in vain, or that an insolence so 
criminal would not long be connived at. 

"And, therefore, since the workers of a deceitful work, 
blaspheming our sacraments, and reviling our excellent 
liturgy, are said to draw disciples after them, and we 
know not whereunto this separation may grow, but may 
easily foretel into what a distracted condition, by long for- 
bearance, this colony will be reduced, we are called upon 
by the rights of society, (and what, I am persuaded, will 
be with you as prevailing an inducement,) by the princi- 
ples of Christianity, to put an immediate stop to the de- 
vices and intrigues of these associated schismatics, who 
having, no doubt, assumed to themselves the apostacy of 
our weak brethren, we may be assured that there is not 
anything so absurd but what they will assert, nor any 
doctrines or precepts so sacred but what they will per- 
vert, and accommodate to their favourite theme railing 
against our religious establishment ; for which, in any 
country, the British dominions only excepted, they would 
be very severely handled. 



1746.] IN VIRGINIA. 105 

" However, not meaning to inflame your resentment, we 
may without breach of charity pronounce, that 'tis not 
liberty of conscience, but freedom of speech they so earn- 
estly prosecute ; and we are very sure that they have no 
manner of pretence to any shelter under the acts of tolera- 
tion, because, admitting they have had regular ordination, 
they are by those acts obliged, (nor can they be ignorant 
of it,) not only to take the oaths, but, with the test, to sub- 
scribe, after a deliberate reading of them, some of the arti- 
cles of our religion, before they presume to officiate. But 
in this indulgent grant, though not expressed, a covenant is 
intended, whereby they engage to preserve the character 
of conscientious men, and not to use their liberty for a cloak 
of maliciousness. So that I say, allowing their ordination, 
yet as they have not by submitting to those essential points 
qualified themselves to gather a congregation ; or if they 
had, in speaking all manner of evil against us, have for- 
feited the privilege due to such compliance; insomuch that 
they are entirely without excuse, and their religious pro- 
fessions are very justly suspected to be the result of Jesuit- 
ical policy, which also is an iniquity to be punished by the 
judges. I must, therefore, as in duty bound to God and 
man, charge you jn tne most solemn manner, to make 
strict inquiry after those seducers ; and if they, or any of 
them are still in this government, by presentment or in- 
dictment to report them to the court, that we who are in 
authority under the defender of our faith, and the appointed 
guardians to our constitution and state, exercising our 
power, in this respect, for the protection of the people com- 
mitted to our care, may show our zeal in the maintenance 
of the true religion ; not as the manner of some is, by vio- 
lent oppression, but in putting to silence by such method 
as our law directs, the calumnies and invectives of these 
bold accusers, and in dispelling, as we are devoutly dis- 
posed, so dreadful and dangerous a combination. 

". In short, we should deviate from the pious path we pro- 

o 



106 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1745. 

fess to tread in, and should be unjust to God, to our king, 
to our country, to ourselves, and to our posterity, not to 
take cognizance of so great a wickedness, whereby the 
grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is turned into lascivious- 
ness."* 

It would be injustice to the character of Governor Gooch, 
by whom the foregoing charge was delivered, to consider 
it as a mere exhibition of the spirit of bigotry. Rumours 
had reached him of intemperate and disrespectful expres- 
sions used by the dissenters, which, though probably exag- 
gerated, were yet not without some foundation in truth ; 
for it would have been strange, indeed, if, under all the cir- 
cumstances, nothing had been said against the establish- 
ment by the discontented. And fortunately, justice has 
been done to the memory of the governor in this transac- 
tion, by one whose testimony will not be suspected. The 
Rev. Samuel Davies, a Presbyterian divine of high and de- 
served reputation both for talent and piety, was, as has been 
already stated, the most efficient agent in the introduction of 
the Presbyterian system into Eastern Virginia. In the sketch 
which he has left of the rise of the Presbyterians in that col- 
ony, and to which we have already referred, he thus speaks 
of the governor, and by his candour, does honour both to the 
subject of his remarks and to himself. " The honourable 
Sir William Gooch, our late governor, always discovered 
a ready disposition to allovi^ us all claimable privileges, and 
the greatest aversion to persecuting measures ; but con- 
sidering the shocking reports spread abroad concerning us 
by officious malignants, it was no great wonder that the 
council discovered considerable reluctance to tolerate us. 
Had it not been for this, I persuade myself they would 
have shown themselves the guardians of our legal privi- 
leges, as well as generous patriots to their country, which 

* 3 Burk, 119. 



1745.] IN VIRGINIA. 107 

is the general character given of them."* The charge of 
his excellency seems to have been not without effect. 

The Rev. Mr. Roan, who had been sent by the presby- 
tery of Newcastle, had indulged himself in speaking freely 
about the degeneracy of the clergy of the establishment ; 
and one of his hearers, whom Morris terms " a perfidious 
wretch," deposed that he heard Mr. Roan utter blasphe- 
mous expressions in his sermons. An indictment was found 
against him, but he retired from the colony. Some of those 
who had invited him to preach at their houses were fined. 
Mr. Roan, it is scarcely necessary to say, was not guilty 
of blasphemy. The very witnesses who had been sum- 
moned to sustain the indictment were prepared, on the 
trial, to testify in his favour ; and the creature at whose 
instigation, and on whose testimony, probably, the bill had 
been found, fled the country, and never returned. 

The Presbyterians of the colony determined, in their dif- 
ficulties, to seek aid from abroad : accordingly, in 1745 a 
deputation from Virginia attended a synod in New- York ; 
and an address was sent from that body to Sir William 
Gooch. The bearers of it, the Rev. Messrs. Tennent and 
Finley were received with respect by the governor, and 
he gave them liberty to preach. After a short time they 
left the colony, and fines were again inflicted upon Presby- 
terians for not attending on the services of the establish- 
ment. After having been again visited by Mr. Whitfield, 
the Rev. Samuel Davies already mentioned was sent by the 
presbytery in 1747. 

As this gentleman was more instrumental than any other 
Presbyterian divine in placing on a secure foundation the 
religious denomination to which he belonged, it becomes 
necessary to bestow upon him a more enlarged notice. At 
the time of Mr. Davies' arrival in Virginia and settlement 
in the county of Hanover, according to his own testimony 

• Davies' State of Religion, &c., p. 21. 



108 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1745, 

there were not ten avowed dissenters within one hundred 
miles of him.* On his arrival, his first care was to secure 
himself and his followers from molestation, by a compliance 
with the laws of the colony. The terms on which dissen- 
ters were tolerated, were, obtaining a license from some 
judicial body for each meeting-house, causing such license 
to be put upon record, taking the usual oaths of fidelity to 
the government, and subscribing the thirty-nine articles of 
the Church of England, with certain enumerated excep- 
tions. These exceptions embraced the thirty-fourth, con- 
cerning " traditions of the church," the thirty-fifth, " of the 
homilies," the thirty-sixth, " of the consecration of bishops 
and ministers," and so much of the twentieth as declares 
*' the church hath power to decree rites and ceremonies, and 
authority in controversies of faith." 

With these terms Mr. Davies complied, and obtained 
licenses for no less than four meeting-houses, to which, 
in a short time, three more were added ; and among the 
seven, some of which were forty miles distant from each 
other, he divided his labours. Of these meeting-houses, 
three were in Hanover county, one in Henrico, one in 
Caroline, one in Louisa, and one in Goochland. This 
region of country, therefore, may justly be considered 
as the birthplace of Presbyterianism in Eastern Virginia.f 
The health of Mr. Davies was precarious, but his labours 
were unremitting. Possessing talents of a high order, 
and gifted with no ordinary share of eloquence, he 
readily succeeded in obtaining hearers ; and many who 
were at first allured by curiosity or respect for genius, 
returned to hear him under the influence of holier motives. 
In three years his meeting-houses presented the spectacle 
of large and attentive congregations, and among them he 
numbered three hundred communicants. In truth, so far 
as natural qualifications were concerned, he seems to have 

* 2 Douglass's Summary, 380 ; t 2 Douglass's Summary, 379, 
Davies, p. 28. 380 ; Davies, 21, 22. 



1745.] IN VIRGINIA. 109 

been admirably adapted to the work on which he entered, 
while his piety was beyond all question ; and in the retro- 
spect of so much accomplished in a short time, under God, 
by the labours of a single man, we are forcibly impressed 
with the thought that too much care cannot be manifested 
in the selection of the instruments by whom either the great 
truths of the Gospel or the peculiarities of a sect are to be 
planted and extended. One able and devoted missionary 
will accomplish more than ten men of a different stamp. 

Mr. Davies, however, did not carry on his work without 
encountering opposition. The officers of the government, 
who of course adhered to the establishment, strenuously 
contended that his proceedings were illegal, inasmuch as 
the English " act of toleration" did not extend to Vir- 
ginia. This position was denied by the dissenters, who 
claimed equal rights with their brethren at home, and the 
mutter was brought before the courts of the colony. Pey- 
ton Randolph, afterward the first president of congress, 
was then attorney-general of Virginia, and the point was 
argued, on one occasion, by Mr. Randolph on the one side, 
and by Mr. Davies on the other : it is certainly no small 
compliment to the latter gentleman to say, that he was able 
to argue such a point at all against such an antagonist ; it 
is therefore a higher tribute to his abilities to add, that he 
was frankly acknowledged to have sustained his cause with 
great learning and eloquence. 

Upon the disputed point Mr. Davies was in the right ; 
and when afterward, by appointment of Princeton College, 
he visited England to solicit benefactions, he obtained from 
the attorney-general. Sir Dudley Rider, a declaration that 
the English act of toleration was the law of Virginia. Forti- 
fied by this opinion, on his return, he resumed his labours in 
the colony, and continued them until 1759, when he was 
appointed president of Princeton College, in which situation 
he died.* Before leaving the character of Mr. Davies, it 

* Allen'e Biographical Dictionary, p. 330. 



110 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1745. 

is due to him to remark, that though firm, he was yet in 
manner conciliatory : he experienced much kindness from 
the reverend Dr. Dawson, the commissary, notwithstanding 
the marked difference of opinion between them ; and this 
kindness was repaid by sincere respect and affection.* 

The successful establishment of the Presbyterians, how- 
ever, was not the sole cause of annoyance to the members 
of the church ; for about this time was exhibited a fresh 
instance of that aversion to popery which, it must be con- 
fessed, characterized Virginia during her colonial existence. 
The circumstance which called it forth, was the news of 
the landing in Scotland of the Pretender, under the auspices 
of France. This event produced a strong sensation among 
all classes ; and the expressions of loyalty to the reigning 
family, and of attachment to the Church of England, were 
numerous and unequivocal. The reverend Dr. Dawson, 
who had succeeded Dr. Blair both as president of the col- 
lege and commissary, convened the clergy, and an address 
from that body, transmitted to the king through the medium 
of the Bishop of London, breathed a most loyal and anti- 
papistical spirit ; while the governor issued his proclama- 
tion against Romish priests, who, it was said, came as emis- 
saries from Maryland, to seduce the people from their 
allegiance. 

And to the successful enterprise of the Presbyterians, 
and the anticipated inroads of the Papists, it would seem 
that there was added the fear of other enemies of the 
church; for in 1746 we find the governor issuing his pro- 
clamation and forbidding, under the severest penalties, the 
meeting of " Moravians, New Lights, and Methodists."f 
How numerous these obnoxious dissentients may have 
been, or how far his excellency succeeded in suppressing 
them, we have not the means of ascertaining ; the proba- 

* For a sketch of the rise of Pres- differ in some slight particulars from 

byterianism in Virginia, the reader the sketch here presented ; I have 

may consult The Literary and Evan- followed Davies. 

gelical Magazine, vol. 2, and Miller's t 3 Burk, 124, 5, 6. 
Life of Dr. Rogers, ch. 2. These 



1746.] IN VIRGINIA.. Ill 

bilfty is, however, that after an entrance was once effected, 
and a lodgment secured within the colony by the opponents 
of the church, they increased in strength notwithstanding 
the resistance of those in authority : certain it is, that from 
this period onward through a succession of many years, 
the course of the church was not free from lets and hin- 
derances ; and we may here most properly, it is thought, 
fix the commencement of a struggle which was terminated 
by her almost entire overthrow. 

It is a coincidence singular enough to attract attention, 
that the part of our narrative which records the effi)rts 
of a layman to introduce the Presbyterian system into the 
eastern part of the colony, should also bring into view that 
period of time which witnessed the zealous labours of an- 
other layman to establish Episcopal services in the western 
part of Virginia. It will be remembered that in the east 
dissenters were rare ; while in the west, as we have seen, 
but few of the inhabitants belonged to the estabhshment : 
they were, for the most part, Presbyterian emigrants from 
Ireland originally, and last from Pennsylvania. The name 
of one layman is identified with the rise of Presbyterianism 
on one side of the mountains ; the simultaneous commence- 
ment of the Episcopal church on the other side, is to be 
found in the biography of another. 

Morgan Morgan was a native of Wales, whence he emi- 
grated in early life to the province of Pennsylvania. In 
the year 1726 he removed to what is now the county of 
Berkeley in Virginia, and built the first cabin which was 
reared on the south side of the Potomac, between the Blue 
Ridge and the North Mountain. He was a man of ex- 
emplary piety, devoted to the church ; and, in the year 
1740, associated with Dr. John Briscoe and Mr. Hite, he 
erected the first Episcopal church in the valley of Virginia. 
This memorial of his zeal, it is believed, is still standing, and 
now forms that part of the parish of Winchester which is 
known as " Mill Creek Church." But he has left behind 



112 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1746. 

him other and more valuable records of his quiet and use- 
ful life. " He went about doing good," and was most fre- 
quently to be found by the bedsides of the sick and the 
dying. With no mad zeal, assuming to itself infalUbility 
and superior holiness, but with the soberness of a sound 
mind and the earnestness of a pious heart, he sought to im- 
press upon others the value of the Gospel of Christ ; in this 
good work he forgot not his own household, but laboured 
to train up his children " in the nurture and admonition of 
the Lord." The fruit of his labour was abundantly visible 
in the piety of a son who bore his own name; and who, in 
the destitution of Episcopal clergymen in western Virginia, 
officiated at the early age of sixteen as a lay reader in the 
church which his father had erected. The father lived on, 
a pattern of piety, enjoying at times, under the ministra- 
tions of an Episcopal clergyman, the solemn services and 
comfortable sacraments of that church which had his heart's 
best affections, until, at the advanced age of seventy-eight, 
he died under the roof of that son, whose piety and filial ten- 
derness smoothed his passage to the grave. 

But clergymen were not always to be had, and Morgan 
Morgan had been taught by his father that the public wor- 
ship of God was not to be neglected on that account. He 
officiated himself, but never was known to assume the dig- 
nity nor exercise the duties which belong peculiarly to the 
ministry: he confined himself strictly to that which a lay- 
man might lawfully do. In the latter years of his life, the 
wants of the church were greatly increased from the dis- 
tracted state of the country ; and he, like Morris, was 
often called from home to perform in vacant churches 
those religious duties which were proper for a layman. 
Like Morris, too, he obeyed the call ; and as his circum- 
stances were easy, he determined, in the urgency of the 
case, to devote himself exclusively to the work of keeping 
alive and quickening piety in the church of his fathers ; 
and thus did he exhibit " the singular spectacle of a lay- 



1746.] IN VIRGINIA. 113 

man, in his appropriate station, and with due regard to all 
the peculiarities and regulations of the church, seeking to 
keep up her institutions under circumstances of peculiar 
discouragement." The history of his success is thus re- 
lated by the writer to whom we are indebted for our 
sketch ; and it certainly affords abundant encouragement 
to the zeal and efforts of the pious layman who may be 
engaged in building up the church. " While the church to 
which he belonged shall have existence in the valley of 
Virginia, his pious labours must, and will be remembered, 
with gratitude. In a dark day, when desolation and death 
seemed brooding over her interests, he commenced a career 
of active exertion, which was hoping almost against hope; 
and by efTorts of the most disinterested nature, revived the 
attachment of her friends, and kept her from descending to 
the dust. Though encumbered with the weight of years, 
and though but a layman, thus precluded from some of the 
most interesting exercises, yet his labours were abundantly 
blessed by God, and the spirit of piety was kept alive. 
Through the counties of Jefferson, Berkeley, and part of 
Frederick, Hampshire, and a small portion of Maryland, 
he exercised the duties of a lay reader. He was a wel- 
come visitant everywhere, and was beloved by rich and 
poor ; and, what does not always happen when the ser- 
vices of the church are kept up by a layman, he had laj-ge 
and attentive audiences. The character of the man was 
his passport to respect and attention, and his love for the 
church of his fathers stimulated the love of others. It is 
firmly believed that the fruits of his labours will be long 
traced in the valley of Virginia."* 

His bones are now resting in the churchyard of " Mill 
Creek Church ;" and though his name on earth was but 
little known out of the immediate sphere of his usefulness, 
yet, doubtless, " he shall be better known at the resurrec- 
tion of the just." 

* See Episcopal Recorder, vol. i. No. 5. 

P 



114 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1748. 



CHAPTER VII. 
1748-1771. 

Lawsuit, Legislation fixing Clergyman's right to Glebes — State of the 
Clergy — Substitution of Money for Tobacco in paying Clergy — Difficul- 
ties thence arising — Injustice to Clergy — Appearance of Baptists — Their 
bitter Enmity — Great Question of the legality of paying the Clergy in 
Money — Suit to settle it — Mr. Henry, his first Appearance — Question 
settled against the Clergy — Efforts in Virginia to obtain the Episcopate 
— Opposed by some of the Clergy — Their Conduct approved by the 
Legislature. 

Allusion has already oeeii made on a previous page of 
this narrative, to the uncertain tenure by which the clergy 
held their livings ; and the year on which we are now en- 
tering afforded a striking practical illustration of the evils 
resulting from the existing system. It will be remembered 
that under the act of 1727, ^^ every minister, received into 
any parish by the vestry,''^ was entitled to demand the salary 
fixed by law of sixteen thousand pounds of tobacco. After 
the passage of this law, the usual mode of proceeding to 
supply a vacant parish was, as has been stated, to receive 
some clergyman recommended by the governor and commis- 
sary, and under such reception the clergyman claimed the 
profits of the parish. 

It seems that by direction of the vestry of Lunenburg 
parish in Richmond county, an individual entered upon the 
glebe lands contrary to the wishes of the incumbent, the 
reverend Mr. Kay. Mr. Kay brought. an action of tres- 
pass against the intruder, and in 1748 the suit came before 
the general court for judgment, upon the single point whe- 
ther the bare reception of a minister by the vestry, under 



1748.] IN VIRGINIA. 115 

the act of 1727, there having been no formal induction in 
the case, would enable the minister to maintain an action 
of trespass against one who entered on the glebe lands by 
order of the vestry. Judgment was finally rendered for 
Mr. Kay on this point, but it was by a divided court ; and 
as the matter created much unpleasant excitement through- 
out the colony, the assembly, then in session, to prevent a 
prejudice against religion by the recurrence of a similar 
difhculty, enacted, that "every minister received into a par- 
ish is entitled to all the spiritual and temporal benefits of 
it, and may maintain an action of trespass against any per- 
son or persons who shall disturb him in the possession and 
enjoyment thereof."* 

This, it is believed, is the first act of legislation which 
secured the clergyman against the exercise of that caprice 
in a vestry which might, by petty annoyance, lead to a 
removal from his charge ; but it certainly was not intended 
to prevent the removal of an unworthy incumbent, against 
whom a direct accusation of improper conduct could be 
preferred ; nor should it have had in its operation the effect 
of giving impunity to the wicked and the worthless. It 
was therefore a wholesome enactment, and it is only to be 
lamented that it was not of earlier date ; had it been, the 
church in Virginia would probably have enrolled in its 
ministry more men worthy of the sacred office ; but as it 
was, it came too late to remedy an evil which for years 
had been operating to prevent the best men from seeking 
clerical employment in the colony. If the authority of a 
contemporary who laboured long and faithfully in Virginia 
may be relied on, much the larger part of the clergy were 
at this lime deficient in the great duty of placing distinctly 
before the people the fundamental truths of the Gospel. 
Most of them might, indeed, have led lives externally 
decent, at any rate they are not charged with any flagrant 

' Bland's Letter to the Clergy of Virginia. 



116 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1755. 

violations of propriety in their outward deportment ; but 
nothing was more common, as we gather from the writer 
to whom we are indebted for these facts, than to be con- 
fronted, when he enjoined a duty or condemned a sin, with 
the inquiry, " Why did not other ministers tell us so? were 
they not as wise as you ?" Nay, from some of the clergy 
themselves he was compelled to endure opposition and re- 
proach ; and opprobrious epithets, calculated to alarm pre- 
judice or provoke ridicule, were freely resorted to, to de- 
stroy or diminish the effects of his ministry.* 

With such priests, it is easy to believe what is recorded 
of the people. " The Sabbath day was usually spent by 
them in sporting,"-\ and no question seems to have been 
made whether the practice was right or wrong. And with 
such a people, it is not probable that the errors and vices 
of their teachers formed the subject of very serious com- 
plaints, or that direct efforts were made often to displace 
an unworthy clergyman. The act, therefore, which has 
just been recited, it may well be supposed, under all the cir- 
cumstances, served as much to impart confidence to wick- 
edness, as to afford security to virtue. No wonder is it 
that the church languished, while dissenters acquired 
strength at her expense. She was not true to herself. 
The devout use of her formularies, the faithful preaching 
of her doctrines, the consistent piety of her clergy, would 
have presented more effectual checks to the growth of dis- 
sent than any exertion of civil authority ; these, under God, 
are at all times her best bulwarks, for these remove all 
grounds of reasonable complaint ; and the absence of these 
can never be supplied by the mere support of the arm of 
civil power. 

In the year 1755, a petition was preferred to the legisla- 
ture by the clergy themselves, which furnishes evidence 



* The Life of the Rev. Devereux t Ibid, 28. 

Jarrat, 28, 86. 



1755.] IN VIRGINIA. 117 

that the picture here presented of that body is not exag- 
gerated. The petition sets forth "that the salary appointed 
by lavv for the clergy is so scanty, that it is with difficulty 
they support themselves and families, and can by no means 
make any provision for their widows and children, who 
are generally left to the charity of their friends ; that the 
small encouragement given to clergymen is a reason why 
so few come into this colony from the two universities ; 
and that so many who are a disgrace to the ministry find 
opportunities to fill the parishes ; and that the raising of the 
salary would prove of great service to the colony," and 
the petitioners prayed accordingly that their salaries might 
be increased. The petition was not granted by the House 
of Burgesses ; but it is due to that body to state, that the 
country was then engaged in an expensive war with the 
French, which called for an unusual taxation of the peo- 
ple.* The representations here made of the character of 
many of the clergy are sustained by other statements con- 
cerning them which have come down to us. In a letter 
from Dr. Rundle, bishop of Derry, written in 1740, he 
speaks of three ministers whom he had discarded from his 
diocess, and to whom he had refused certificates, and yet, 
he adds, they " have obtained good livings in America." 

The year 1757 was one of unparalleled distress in the 
colony : the war just alluded to had not terminated ; and to 
increase the privations consequent upon a state of hostility, 
there was a failure in the great staple of the country. 
There was not a sufficiency of tobacco made in the whole 
colony to have afforded to every man who was tithable 
two hundred pounds, out of which to pay his taxes. So 
great was the scarcity, that the assembly was obliged to 
issue money from the public funds to save the population 
from starving. In this emergency, the legislature enacted, 
that inasmuch as payment in tobacco was impossible, the 

* Bland's Letter to Virginia Clergy. 



118 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1757. 

clergy should receive " a price for iheir salaries, equal to 
crop tobacco at eighteen shillings per hundred weight," 
which gave to them for that year one hundred and forty- 
four pounds, a salary larger than they had ever received 
before.* There, probably, was tobacco enough to have 
paid the clergy alone, and the scarcity in the commodity 
had of course so much enhanced its value at the time, that 
had payment been made in the article itself, its sale would 
have yielded to its owners very large returns. Whether 
this consideration operated on the minds of the clergy to 
produce discontent is unknown ; certain it is, however, that 
the law occasioned much murmuring, and the clergy con- 
tended that it was a violation of their rights to compel 
them to yield to this plan of substitution. A portion of 
them was not content patiently to submit; accordingly 
they met in convention at the college, and instructed the 
Rev. Mr. Camm (who was then the commissary) to make a 
representation on the subject to the Bishop of London, or 
to the Lords of Trade. It is probable that their complaint 
was made to their diocesan, as there is extant a letter from 
that prelate to the Board of Trade, in which he inveighs 
against this law as being subversive of the rights of the 
clergy.t 

On the contested point, it will probably, at this day, be 
conceded that the clergy were in the right ; and as the 
matter in its consequences was one of much moment to the 
church, it demands attention. The act of 1757 was not 
the first law which had compelled the clergy to receive 
money in lieu of tobacco. In 1755, the crop having failed, 
the legislature passed " an act to enable the inhabitants of 
the colony to discharge their tobacco debts in money for 
the present year :" by this act, payments to be made in 
tobacco might be satisfied in money, at the rate of sixteen 
shillings and eight pence per hundred weight, at the option 

* Bland's Letter to Virginia Clergy. t Ibid. 



1757.] IN VIRGINIA. 119 

of the debtor. The act was to continue in force ten months, 
and no longer, and did not contain the usual clause of sus- 
pension, until it should receive the royal assent. The clear 
necessity for the act, and its being made to extend to all 
other tobacco creditors as well as ministers, probably satis- 
fied the clergy; at any rate they made no objection, and 
bore the loss without a murmur. The rich planters, who 
had tobacco to sell, received for it fifty or sixty shillings 
per hundred weight, while they paid off their debts due in 
the commodity at sixteen shillings and eight pence, so that 
the law proved to them a source of great profit. Remem- 
bering the effect of this law upon their interests, in the 
year 1757,* upon a surmise that the crop would be de- 
ficient, the act of 1755 was re-enacted. The crop did fail, 
and tobacco was again worth fifty shillings. The clergy 
felt the hardship thus repeated, and were disposed to re- 
sist. The act was attacked by a publication on the part 
of Commissary Camm, and this led to a war of pamphlets 
between the commissary on the one side, and Colonels 
Bland and Carter on the other. The people, who at first 
merely laughed, soon became excited by a sense of in- 
terest, and so strongly did the popular current set against 
the clergy, that the printers of the colony shut their presses 
against them, and Mr. Camm at last resorted to Mary- 
land for publication.f 

This was an unfortunate contest for the church and the 
clergy. In every conflict of the kind, the merits of the 
question, originally involved in the dispute, are apt to be 
lost sight of; and in the ardour of controversy, it is not 
unusual for men to transfer their condemnation from 
opinions, to those who avow them ; and such there is rea- 
son to believe was the course pursued in this instance. 
While among the clergy there were some who were above 
just suspicion or reproach, it must be owned that as a body 

* Mr. Wirt fixes it in 1758. Life t Wirt's Life of Patrick Henry, 
of Patrick Henry, 39. . 39, 40. 



120 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1757. 

they were anything but invulnerable ; and the opportunity 
for censure afforded by their conduct was too inviting to 
be overlooked by their antagonists. The leading laynnen 
looked around, and saw almost every parish supplied with 
an incumbent of some sort, while the stale of religion was, 
in their view, far from flourishing ; they did not hesitate to 
impute this condition of things to the clergy themselves, 
and the people at large were ready enough to lend a will- 
ing ear to the charge.* It was not that there was any 
partiality for the dissenters, for the general sentiment 
was against them ;f but there was growing up in men's 
minds a gradual alienation from the church, because it was 
identified with those who were suspected of being more 
anxious to enrich themselves than to benefit the souls of 
others, and men began to admit the suspicion that the es- 
tablishment was proving a burden instead of a blessing. 

Doubtless, injustice was done, in this process, to many a 
worthy man, who was made to suffer by the indiscriminate 
censure which visited his order, while he probably would 
have been as prompt as any one in removing those who had 
subjected both the church and himself to undeserved re- 
proach. This unfortunate dispute is recorded because it 
was one of the links in a chain of causes which was oper- 
ating silently but surely for the prostration of the church : 
everything which provoked hostility and awakened preju- 
dice, of course prepared men's minds for the final blow 
struck in the stormy times of that revolution, to which the 
country was even then approaching with unsuspected but 
certain step. 

It was in the midst of this growing spirit of disaffection 
towards the church that a new and, as events proved, a 
most inveterate enemy appeared. About the year 1765, 
and while the Rev. Mr. Robinson was commissar}^ the 
Baptists first made their appearance in Amelia and some 

* Life of Jarrat, 79, 83, 86, 102. t Jarrat's Life, 59. 



l^ea.] IN VIRGINIA. 121 

of the adjacent counties, and by insisting on the peculiar 
tenets of their sect, they began to shake the faith of many 
who belonged to the church.* It niust not, however, be 
supposed that, previous to this time, none of this sect had 
been seen in Virginia. The first who came were emi- 
grants from England as early as the year 1714; others 
also came from Maryland in the year 1743 rf but their in- 
crease was but small for a long time after their introduc- 
tion. There was a bitterness in the hatred of this denomi- 
nation towards the establishment, which far surpassed that 
of all other religious communities in the colony; and it 
was always prompt (as the future pages of our work 
will show) to avail itself of every prejudice which religious 
or political zeal could excite against the church. Their 
first preachers came from the North, and some few arose 
in the South : all met with opposition from those in 
power. " The ministers (says Leland) were imprisoned, 
and the disciples buffeted." This is but too true. No 
dissenters in Virginia experienced for a time harsher treat- 
ment than did the Baptists. They were beaten and im- 
prisoned ; and cruelty taxed its ingenuity to devise new 
modes of punishment and annoyance. The usual conse- 
quences followed ; persecution made friends for its vic- 
tims ; and the men who were not permitted to speak in 
public, found willing auditors in the sympathizing crowds 
who gathered around the prisons to hear them preach from 
the grated windows. J It is not improbable that this very 
opposition imparted strength in another mode, inasmuch 
as it at least furnished the Baptists with a common ground 
on which to make resistance ; and such common ground 
was in a great degree wanting in their creed ; for not to 
speak of their great division into Regulars and Separates,^ 

♦ The Virginia Baptist Chronicle, + Sample's History of Virginia 
by John Leland. (This work I saw Baptists, pp. 1, 344. 
in MS., among the papers of the late t Seniple's History of Virginia 
E. Hazzard, Esq., of Philadelphia.) Baptists, pages 15, 17, 22, 207, 427. 

^ Semple'a History, passim. 



122 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHUnCII [1763. 

some "held to predestination, others to universal provision; 
some adhered to a confession of faith, others would have 
none but the Bible ; some practised laying on of hands, 
others did not ;"* and, in fact, the only particular in which 
there seems to have been unanimity, was in the favourite 
exclusive opinion of the sect, that none bat adult believers 
are fit subjects of baptism, and that immersion is the only 
effectual or authorized mode of administering that sacra- 
ment. 

It is obvious that no time could have been more inau- 
spicious than this, for calling public attention to the contro- 
versy with the laity on the subject of substituted payments 
in money, in lieu of tobacco. And yet it was not possible 
for the clergy, without an entire surrender of their rights, 
to let the matter rest. It has been seen that through their 
commissary the subject was brought to the notice of the 
Bishop of London and the Lords of Trade, and finally it 
came before the king and council. The act of 1757 was 
denounced by his majesty as a usurpation, and he declared 
it utterly null and void. Sustained by this declaration, the 
clergy resolved not to yield, but to bring the question up 
for a judicial decision. Accordingly, suits were com- 
menced, in several of the counties, by the clergy to recover 
their stipends in tobacco. As the decision in one cause 
would settle the principle in all, it was not necessary to 
bring all to trial ; and to test the success of the experiment, 
it was resolved to try the action brought by the reverend 
Mr. Maury in the county of Hanover. 

The case, as presented to the court, was briefly this : 
the plaintiff^'s declaration was founded on the law of 1748, 
which gave specifically sixteen thousand pounds of tobacco. 
To this, the defendant pleaded specially the act of 1757, 
which allowed payment to be made in money, at the rate 
of sixteen shillings and eight pence per hundred weight. 

* Leiaml. 



1763.] IN VIRGINIA. 123 

To this plea the plaintifT demurred on two grounds : first, 
that the act of 1758 had never received the royal assent 
and was therefore not law ; and secondly, liiat the king, 
in council, had declared that act to be null and void. In 
1703 the case came on for argument upon the demurrer. 
The court sustained the demurrer; thereby deciding that 
the plea of the defendant was no good defence, and, of 
course, that the act of 1748, under which the clergy claimed 
the specific tobacco, was unrepealed. This was, in effect, 
a decision of the cause for the clergy ; but, before a final 
judgment, certain other steps were necessary. It having 
been settled that the defence made was not a good one, if 
, the defendant had none better to offer, it only remained to 
inquire by a jury the amount of damages which the plaintiff 
had sustained, and to render a final judgment on their find- 
ing. The defendants had not pleaded over after the judg- 
ment on the demurrer, and the case stood upon a writ of 
inquiry of damages ; and nothing was more reasonable 
than the expectation of the clergy that the jury would at 
once render a verdict for their claim under the act of 1748. 
In fact, the counsel originally employed by the defendant 
looked upon this result as inevitable, candidly said so to his 
client, and retired from the cause. And such, probably, 
would have been the result, but for the celebrated Patrick 
Henry. He had been employed upon the withdrawal of 
the former counsel ; and as the very loose practice of the 
county courts of that day permitted great latitude of remark 
in advocates, when he came before the jury, instead of en- 
tering upon a calm investigation of the amount of damages 
actually sustained, he skilfully played upon the passions of 
his hearers, aroused their prejudices, and poured forth tor- 
rents of eloquence upon the decision of the king in council, 
as indicating a wanton disregard of the true interests of a 
suffering people, and a heartless contempt of their necessi- 



124 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [17G3. 

ties.* It is very certain that all this had nothing to do with 
the question before the jury ; but they readily imbibed sen- 
timents so much in accordance with their interests, and so 
agreeable to their prejudices against the clergy ; and, carried 
away by an eloquence as extraordinary as it was unex- 
pected, (for it was Mr. Henry's first cause in any court,) they 
yielded to their feelings, and returned a verdict of one 
penny damages. The court, influenced as much as the 
jury by the fascinating powers of the advocate, unani- 
mously refused to grant a new trial ; and this refusal was 
received with a shout of acclamation by the crowd both 
within and without the house. The people, in fact, looked 
upon it as their cause ; the triumph of Mr. Henry was their 
triumph : and a striking picture (>f the spirit of the populace 
in this matter is afforded in the fact, that as soon as the de- 
cision was made, the people, in spite of all efforts made by 
the officers to preserve order in the court, seized Mr. Henry 
at the bar, bore him out of the courthouse, and raising him 
on their shoulders, carried him, in a sort of triumphal pro- 
cession, about the courtyard. It was, indeed, a sponta- 

* A picture of the scene here described, together with a sketch of this 
remarkable speech, has been preserved by one who witnessed its effect with 
the deepest interest, even by Mr. Maury himself. The report of Mr. 
Maury does not fully sustain the glowing description given by the biogra- 
pher of Mr. Henry ; but, with a degree of candour most honourable to 
Mr. Maury, it does show that the advocate possessed extraordinary powers 
of eloquence. It was in the course of this speech, says Mr. Maury, 
that, when Mr. Henry declared that a king who annulled and dis- 
allowed laws of a salutary nature, instead of being the father, degenerated 
into the tyrant of his people, that the opposing advocate cried oat, " He has 
spoken treason." The bench, however, did not think so, and Mr. Henry 
proceeded without interruption in the delivery of as bold a philippic as ever 
Bubject uttered against his sovereign. Calling to mind the relation in 
which Virginia then stood to the crown of England, it must be confessed 
that the speech contained much more treason than logic : it was an appeal 
to men's passions, not to their understandings, and was managed with con- 
summate address. — MS. letter from Mr. Maury to the reverend Mr. Caiam, 
furnished to the author by James Maury, Esq. 



17G3.] IN VIRGINIA. 125 

neous though undignified tribute to the extraordinary pow- 
ers of a very extraordinary man ; but it was also the 
triumph of wrong over right. 

The news of the defeat of the clergy, connected as it 
was with the unlooiied-for display of Mr. Henry's elo- 
quence, spread with rapidity through the colony ; and so 
decided was public sentiment, that the clergy, hopeless of 
success, never brought any of the other cases to trial ; they 
were all dismissed by the plaintiffs. In Mr. Maury's case 
no appeal was taken ; and Mr. Camm assigns as the reason 
for this, that the legislature voted money to support the 
defendants in the appeal, and the clergy were too poor to 
contend against the wealth of the public treasury. It is 
not known with certainty that the assembly made provision 
to sustain the defendants in this particular case ; though 
the journals show, in 1767, an engagement to defend all 
suits brought by the clergy for their salaries, payable on 
or before the last day of May, 1759.* 

With all the prejudices which resulted from the transac- 
tions just related, operating against the church, no time 
could have been more inauspicious for agitating another 
question, to the history of which the course of events has 
now brought us. For many years, applications had been 
repeatedly made by members of the church in this country 
for a resident bishop. In the first instance, these applica- 
tions issued alike from laity and clergy ; a variety of cir- 
cumstances, fully recorded in a future volume of this work, 
had conspired to defeat the success of the applications, and 
sometimes when they seemed to be on the eve of accom- 
plishment. 

Notwithstanding all disheartening events, they were, 
however, still continued, and principally by the clergy of 
some of the northern colonies. New- York and New-Jer- 
sey, with the occasional aid of Connecticut, were conspicu- 

* See Wirt'B Life of Patrick Henry, section 1. 



126 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1771. 

ous in these solicitations. Tiiey spared no efforts to bring 
into their views their brethren of the other colonies, in the 
reasonable expectation that a unanimous appeal to the 
church of the mother country would not be disregarded. 
The clergy of New- York and New-Jersey entered into a 
voluntary union, known as " The United Convention of New- 
York and New- Jersey ;" and from the manuscript records 
of that body kept by the late Bishop Seabury, who then 
resided in New- York, and was its secretary, the fiict is 
ascertained that the reverend Dr. Cooper, then president 
of King's (now Columbia) College in New- York, and the 
reverend Mr. M'Kean, missionary at Amboy in New- 
Jersey, were specially deputed to visit the southern part of 
the continent, for the purpose of securing the co-operation 
of their brethren in that region in procuring an American 
episcopate.* 

It must not, however, be supposed that the unanimity 
which had marked the earlier applications on this subject 
still continued. The laity were now nearly ripe for the 
revolution which soon commenced ; and bishops were an 
object of suspicion to many who truly loved the church, 
because, in their minds, the civil and ecclesiastical constitu- 
tions of the mother country were identified ; the political 
aspect of affairs, therefore, presented to the laity a new 
and serious obstacle to the measure ;t and in their opin- 
ions there were not wanting many of the clergy who 
concurred. 

It was while affairs were in this posture, that, in April, 
1771, Mr. Camm, the commissary, by public advertisement, 
requested a general attendance of the clergy of the colony 
at the college, on the fourth of May. There were at that 
time more than one hundred churches in Virginia, and most 
of them were furnished with ministers. On the appointed 

♦ Journals of the United Conven- t Bishop White's Memoirs, p. 51. 
tion of 1707, pp. 32, 33, 34, 35 ; Sea- 
bury MSS. 



1771.] IN VIRGINIA. 127 

day a number of the clergy met, and a proposition was 
made to address the king in behalf of an American episco- 
pate. Tiie whole number of clergymen in attendance was, 
however, so small, that most of them desired the commis- 
sary to convene another meeting, and to inform those sum- 
moned of the proposition which would be considered at 
the meeting. This was accordingly done ; and on the 
fourth of June, the day appointed for the meeting, twelve 
clergymen only appeared. This number was less than 
that which had attended the previous meeting, and a ques- 
tion very naturally arose, whether so small a portion of the 
clergy could with propriety be deemed a convention of the 
Virginia clergy. This having been settled in the affirma- 
tive, though not without opposition, it was then proposed 
to address his majesty on the subject of the episcopate, and 
the proposition was rejected, A third question was then 
presented for consideration, on the propriety of addressing 
the Bishop of London for his opinion and advice, and all 
concurred in the adoption of such a measure. 

The business of the meeting, it would seem, should here 
have terminated ; but before adjournment, a successful 
effort was made to reconsider the vote upon the subject of 
an address to the king, and such an address was finally 
resolved on. This proposition to reconsider was very 
warmly opposed by the Rev. Messrs. Henly and Gwatkin, 
two of the professors in the college ; but it is due to both 
these gentlemen to add, that their opposition was entirely 
on grounds unconnected with the question of church gov- 
ernment or ministerial imparity: they distinctly avowed 
their cordial and conscientious approval of the episcopal 
system, and resisted the present effort on considerations 
of expediency alone. The arguments by which they sus- 
tained their opposition were founded upon, 1. respect for 
the Bishop of London ; 2. the disturbances occasioned by 
the stamp act; 3. a recent rebellion in North Carolina, but 
just suppressed ; and 4, the general clamour at that time 



128 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1771* 

against the introduction of bishops. The vote to address 
the king was adopted, notwithstanding the opposition ; a 
connmittee was appointed to apply to such of the clergy as 
were not present for their signatures to the purposed ap- 
plication, and Mr. Henly and Mr. Gwatkin solennnly pro- 
tested against the whole proceeding in the following 
terms : — 

" First, because, as the number of the clergy in this colony 
is at least a hundred, we cannot conceive that twelve cler- 
gymen are a sufficient representation of so large a body. 

"Secondly, because the said resolution contradicts a 
former resolution of the same convention, which puts a 
negative upon the question, ^whether the king should he ad- 
dressed upon an American episcopate.' And that an as- 
sembly met upon so an important an occasion, should re- 
scind a resolution agreed to and entered down but a few 
minutes before, is in our apprehension contrary to all order 
and decorum. 

" Thirdly, because the expression American episcopate 
includes a jurisdiction over the other colonies ; and the 
clergy of Virginia cannot, with any propriety, petition for 
a measure which, for aught that appears to the contrary, 
■will materially affect the natural rights and fundamental 
laws of the said colonies, without their consent and appro- 
bation. 

" Fourthly, because the establishment of an American 
episcopate, at this time, would tend greatly to weaken the 
connection between the mother country and her colonies, to 
continue their present unhappy disputes, to infuse jealousies 
and fears into the minds of Protestant dissenters, and to 
give ill-disposed persons occasion to raise such distur- 
bances as may endanger the very existence of the British 
empire in America. 

" Fifthly, because we cannot help considering it as ex- 
tremely indecent for the clergy to make such an applica- 



1771.] IN VIRGINIA. 129 

tion without the concurrence of the president, council, and 
representatives of this province ; a usurpation directly 
repugnant to the rights of mankind. 

" Sixthly, because the Bishops of London have always 
hitherto exercised ecclesiastical jurisdiction over this col- 
ony; and we are perfectly satisfied with the mild, just, and 
equitable government of our excellent diocesan, the present 
Lord Bishop of London ; and do think a petition to the 
crown to strip his lordship of any part of his jurisdiction, 
but an ill return for his past labours, and contrary to our 
oath of canonical obedience. We do further conceive, as 
it had been unanimously determined by this very conven- 
tion that his lordship should be addressed for his opinion 
relative to this measure, the clergy ought to have waited 
for his lordship's paternal advice, before they had pro- 
ceeded any further in an affair of such vast importance. 

" Seventhly, because we have particular objections to 
that part of the resolution by which the committee are 
directed to apply, as it is termed, /or the hands of the ma- 
jority of the clergy of this colony : a method of proceeding, 
in our opinion, contrary to the universal practice of the 
Christian church, it having been customary for the clergy 
to sign all acts of an ecclesiastical nature in public conven- 
tion ; whereas, the manner of procuring their concurrence 
now proposed, is unworthy the decorum and dignity by 
which so venerable a body ought ever to be guided." 

Whatever may be thought of the insufficiency of some 
of these grounds of protest, it will probably be conceded of 
the rest that they were not without weight ; at least such 
seems to have been the opinion of others of the clergy 
besides Messrs. Henly and Gwalkin ; for the Rev. Messrs. 
Hewitt and Bland subsequently joined in the foregoing 
protest; while the opinion of the laity on the subject, was 
very strongly indicated by a unanimous vote of the legisla- 
ture, in the following words : — " Resolved, nemine contra- 

R 



130 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [17TI' 

dicente, that the thanks of this House be given to the Rev, 
Mr. Henly, the Rev. Mr. Gwatkin, the Rev. Mr. Hewitt, 
and the Rev. Mr. Bland, for the wise and well-timed oppo- 
sition they have nf>ade to the pernicious project of a few 
mistaken clergymen, for introducing an American bishop ; 
a measure, by which much disturbance, great anxiety, and 
apprehension would certainly lake place among his ma- 
jesty's faithful American subjects ; and that Mr. Richard 
Henry Lee and Mr. Bland do acquaint them therewith."* 

When it is remembered that the majority of the legisla- 
ture belonged to the establishment, the conclusion will, 
probably, not be deemed erroneous, that the opposition 
rested almost entirely upon political considerations ; and 
such a conclusion derives confirmation from the fact, that 
fifteen years afterward, Mr. Lee, wlw was appointed to 
convey the thanks of the House to the protesting clergy, 
as president of congress lent his aid to the efforts made to 
procure consecration for Bishops White and Prevost, and 
certified that they sought nothing in their application in- 
consistent with the civil institutions of the United States.^ 

The circumstances here related led to an unfortunate 
alienation between the clergy of the northern provinces, 
who desired a bishop, and such of the Virginia clergy as 
had opposed the recent measures in that colony. The 
history of this alienation is preserved in the pamphlets of 
the day, to which these Virginia proceedings gave birth. 
On the part of the northern ministers was published " An 
Address from the Clergy c. New- York and New-Jersey 
to the Episcopalians in Virginia," which was replied to in 
a spirited pamphlet by Mr. Gwatkin. These publications, 
however, satisfactorily show that, save on one point, both 
parties entertained the same opinion ; that point was the ex- 
pediency, at that time, of making the proposed effort. In 
fact, Mr. Gwatkin declared explicitly that the authors of the 

* 3 Burk, 364, 6. Bishop White's Memoirs, 62 



1771.] IX VIRGINIA. 131 

protest had " not any aversion to episcopacy in general, 
to that mode of it established in England, or even to an 
American episcopate introduced at a proper time, hy proper 
authority, and in a proper manner :^^ the opposition to an 
•' immediate establishment," he stated to be " a prudential 
regard to the practicable, a desire to preserve peace, heal 
divisions, and calm the angry passions of an inflamed peo- 
ple." And at this distance of time, it will probably be 
acknowledged that on the question of expediency, the Vir- 
ginia clergy judged wisely. In the temper of the times, 
the application could not but have proved unsuccessful ; 
to make it, therefore, could only serve to exasperate a very 
large portion of the colonists, without the prospect of ob- 
taining the end desired. 



132 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1772. 



CHAPTER VIII. 
1772-1778. 

Appearance of the Methodists — Their adherence to the Church — Conduct 
of the Episcopal Clergy in the Revolution — Many of them Whigs — Some 
become Officers in the Continental Army — Conduct of the Baptists at 
breakinor out of the Revolution — Petitions of Presbyterians, Baptists, 
and others against the Church — Counter Petitions — Act of 1776 destroy- 
ing Establishment — Distress of the Clergy — Their Treatment — Legis- 
lative Proceedings of 1777 and 1778 — Ordinations by the Methodists, 
condemned by Mr. Asbury. 

Odr attention must now be directed to another religious 
denomination, which, upon its first appearance, claiming 
alliance with the church, received countenance from some 
of its clergy ; but which ultimately proceeded to the length 
of an entire separation. It was about the period of time 
which we have now reached that the Methodists began to 
increase in Virginia. There were doubtless individuals, 
and, it may be, preachers of that society, to be found in the 
colony before 1772;* but they seem thus far not to have 
made any very strong impression, and certainly one not 
hostile to the church. In truth, they professed to belong to 
the church ; and as a portion of their subsequent success 
is attributable to this circumstance, a brief review of facts 
connected with that society becomes necessary. 

It is well known, that until the latter years of his life, 
the founder of " Methodism," (Mr. John Wesley,) who was 
a presbyter of the Church of England, professed a strong 
attachment to that church, and gave, to his followers in the 

• Vide ante, p. 110, Gov. Gooch's Proclamation against the Methodists. 



1772.] IN VIRGINIA.. 133 

mother country, a list of " reasons for not separating from 
the church," the good sense of which was unfortunately 
forgotten by him at a subsequent period. In his " farther 
appeal to men of reason and religion,"* he thus addresses 
the members of the Church of England: — "We do not 
dispute concerning any of the externals or circumstantials 
of religion. There is no room ; for we agree with you 
therein. We approve of, we adhere to them all ; all that 
we learned together when we were children, in our cate- 
chism and common prayer book. We were born and bred 
in your own church, and desire to die therein." " We hold, 
and ever have done, the same opinions which you and we 
received from our forefathers." " We approve both the 
doctrines and discipline of our church, and inveigh only 
against ungodliness and unrighteousness." In accordance 
with these sentiments the first Methodists in America acted. 
Their preachers were all laymen ; they never administered 
the sacraments, but received the Lord's Supper themselves 
at the hands of the clergy of the Church of England ; and 
they claimed to be nothing more than members of a reli- 
gious society formed within the bosom of the established 
church at home, and extended to America. f The language 
of the Methodist preachers was, that " all who left the 
church left the Methodisls."J Nay, such was the avowed 
attachment of the society, that in public opinion it was so 
far identified with the church, as to share with it the odium 
which from political causes then rested upon the establish- 
ment in Virginia. The Methodists were suspected of being 
inimical to the liberties of America.^ This suspicion, in 
the minds of many, originated in nothing but the known 
adherence of the society to an ecclesiastical system which 
had the support of the civil power. It derived strength 
afterward from the fact, that Mr. Wesley, who, in the com- 



♦ Paffc 134. i Il)id. 110. 

t Jarratt's Life, 108. ^ J bid. 110, 112. 



134 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1772. 

mencement of the dispute between England and the colo- 
nies had defended the latter, suddenly changed his opinions, 
and wrote and preached against the American cause with 
so much warmth as to provoke this memorable rebuke from 
the celebrated Junius: — "You have forgotten the precept 
of your Master, that God and mammon cannot be served 
together. You have one eye upon a pension, and the other 
upon heaven ; one hand stretched out to the king, the other 
raised up to God. 1 pray that the first may reward you, 
and the last forgive you." The term rebels, was, from the 
influence of Mr. Wesley's opinions on his English follow- 
ers, one of frequent application to the American Method- 
ists by their English brethren ; and thus were they sub- 
jected to the misfortune of a double suspicion, which on 
one side or the other must have been misplaced. 

Their profession of regard, however, obtained for them, 
as has already been hinted, favour from some of the clergy 
of Virginia, and in one instance at least, if not in more, the 
pulpit of the parish church was surrendered for the use of 
the lay preacher.* The evil eftects of this kindness were 
felt by the church, after the final separation of the Method- 
ists from the establishment ; for there were those who, 
having once been taught to regard them as brethren, and 
ignorant of the extent to which the separation had been 
carried, could not be made to understand that on the im- 
portant subject of the Christian ministry differences of 
opinion existed which were irreconcilable.f 

As the political aspect of affairs became more gloomy, 

* Jarratt's Life, p. 108. 

t The late Bishop Ravenscroft of North CaroHna has been heard to say, 
that in the discharge of his duties as a parish priest in Virginia, he some- 
times encountered aged churchmen, who could not understand that there 
were any subjects of disagreement between the church and the Methodists. 
Their language was, " Father Jarratt gave us all to the Methodists." It 
should be added that Father Jarratt lived long enough to see the error of his 
course in this particular. See Jarratt's Life, p. 120, et seq. 



1775.] IN vmaiNiA. 135 

it may well be supposed that the absorbing topic was the 
approaching struggle which the wisest patriots of America 
now began to perceive was inevitable. The whole conti- 
nent was ripe for resistance, and awaited but the first blow 
to fly to arms. In this mood of mind, it was, of course, to be 
expected that the hostility towards the church in Virginia, 
would become more confirmed in the breasts of all who 
took part with the colonies. The clergy were generally 
friends to the mother country : — attached to it by the cir- 
cumstance of birth, and bound as they were individually 
by the oath of allegiance, it would be unjust hastily to con- 
demn them for their preference. With many of them 
scruples of conscience really existed, as to the propriety or 
lawfulness of a resort to arms under all the circumstances. 
Admit the fact that the view which they entertained was 
erroneous, (as it certainly was,) still it might have been, 
and in many cases was, a very honest error. The ques- 
tion, as to the proper course to be pursued, was one on 
which honest and intelligent men might easily difler, with- 
out justifying an imputation, on the one hand, of a want of 
understanding and disregard of liberty ; or, on the other, of 
a spirit of rebellion and the guilt of treason. 

The subject is one of so much delicacy, that even 
now it is dangerous to discuss it, from fear of misappre- 
hension. The period has hardly yet arrived for the exer- 
cise of a dispassionate judgment upon the events con- 
nected with the history of the American revolution. There 
is an association formed, from the cradle, between names 
and things, which the men of this generation have not 
yet outgrown : the watchwords of party in the stormy 
times of the revolution, have, in modern days, a power to 
awaken emotions akin to those which glowed in the bosoms 
of our ancestors. Before, therefore, we condemn all who, 
in the perilous struggle, took part with the mother country, 
we should place ourselves, in imagination, in their situation, 
and it may serve to temper the harshnessof our judgment. 



136 pnOTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1775, 

About to embark, and with seeming hopelessness, in a 
struggle with a power which from infancy had been an ob- 
ject of veneration, and fideUty to which had been inculcated 
as a virtue from the very cradle ; — with that fidelity further 
guarantied by a solemn oath, from which, it was sup- 
posed, nothing could absolve the conscience of an honest 
man ; and with a feeling of patriotism, which it is hard to 
eradicate from the bosom of an upright man, (for it must 
be remembered that England was the birthplace of many 
of the loyalists, and arose upon their memories surrounded 
with all the cherished endearments of /iome;) — under such 
circumstances, it must be confessed that there were many 
inducements which might lead the judgment to pause ere 
that decisive step was taken which, in the event of success, 
severed a man for ever from the spot of his birth ; and, in 
the event of defeat, classed him among those who were 
traitors to its interests. 

It is not intended, by these remarks, to express approba- 
tion of the opinions of such of the clergy as adhered to the 
cause of England ; for the contest, on the part of these 
colonies, was a righteous resistance, into which they were 
forced ; and it is therefore thought that the clergy erred ; 
but it is also thought that there is some extenuation of that 
error, a notice of which is demanded by a sense of justice. 
But the error was not confined to the clergy, a portion of 
the laity adopted their opinions ; it was, however, very 
small, for the great mass of the population in Virginia was 
opposed to England, and this rendered the situation of the 
clergy only the more disagreeable. Nor were all the 
clergy loyalists ; they numbered in their ranks some sturdy 
republicans, though these formed a minority, including not 
quite one-third of the whole body.* Upon the loyal clergy, 

* The enemies of the Episcopal church have but too often been ready to 
arouse prejudice by representing churchmen, generally, as opposed to the 
cause of the colonies in the struggle for independence. There certainly 
was no state more forward than Virginia in the War of the Revolution, and 



1775.] IN VIRGINIA. 137 

more than upon nny other class in the community, it may 
be said, there rested the weight of popular odiiiai ; and the 
burden, when shared with others, was shared with the 
Methodists. 

In 1775, the storm which had so long been gathering, 
burst upon Atnerica, and the first blood was spilled at 
Lexington. Every colony was speedily on the alert, and 
a voluntary convention of the delegates to the Virginia 
legislature, meeting after ils adjournment, succeeded the 
last royal assembly which was ever held in "the ancient 
dominion." The Baptists were not slow in discovering the 
advantageous position in which the political troubles of the 
country had placed them. Their numerical strength was 
such as to make it important to both sides to secure their 
influence; they knew this, and therefore determined to 
turn the circumstance to their profit as a sect. Persecu- 
tion had taught them not to love the establishment, and 
they now saw before them a reasonable prospect of over- 
turning it entirely. In their association, they had calmly 
discussed the matter, and resolved on their course : in this 
course they were consistent to the end ; and the war 
which they waged against the church, was a war of exter- 

yet a large majority of its inhabitants were Episcopalians. Of the clergy 
may be named Bishop Madison, Messrs. Bracken, Belmaine, Buchanan, 
Jarratt, Griffith, Davis, and others who were avowed and decided partisans 
of the colonies. Nay, in one instance, a clergyman of Virginia, the Rev. 
Mr. Muhlenberg, relinquishing his charge, accepted the commission of col- 
onel in the American army, raised his regiment among his own parishioners, 
and served through the whole of the war, from which he retired, at its close, 
with the rank of brigadier-general. (Thatcher's Military Journal, 152.) 
•The Rev. Mr. Thruston, of Frederick county, also bore arms as a colonel in 
the continental service. Of the laity, were General Washington, Patrick 
Henry, Richard Henry Lee, the mover of the Declaration of Independence, 
his brother, Francis Lightfoot Lee, one of the signers, George Mason, Ed- 
mund Pendleton, Peter Lyons, Paul Carrington, W^illiam Fleming, William 
Grayson, with the families of the Nelsons, and Meades, and Mercers, and 
Harrisons, and Randolphs, and hundreds of other names, deservedly dear to 
Virginia. 

S 



138 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1776. 

mination. They seem to have known no relentings, and 
their hostility never ceased for seven-and-twenly years.* 
They revenged themselves for their sufferings, by the al- 
most total ruin of the church: and now commenced the 
assault, for, inspired by the ardours of a patriotism which 
accorded with their interests, or willing to avail themselves 
of a favourable opportunity to present, in their case, an ad- 
vantageous contrast to a part of the church, they addressed 
the convention, and informed that body that their religious 
tenets presented no obstacle to their taking up arms and 
fighting for the country; and they tendered the services of 
their pastors in promoting the enlistment of the youth of 
their religious persuasion. They presented, also, to the 
convention a petition, in which they made, the certainly 
reasonable request, " that they might be allowed to wor- 
ship God in their own way, withoat interruption ; that they 
might be permitted to maintain their own ministers, sep- 
arate from others; that they might be married, buried, and 
the like, without paying the clergy of other denomina- 
tions."'f A complimentary answer was returned to their 
address; and an order was made that the sectarian clergy 
should have the privilege of performing divine service to 
their respective adherents in the army, equally with the 
regular chaplains of the established church. J This, it is 
believed, was the first step made towards placing the 
clergy, of all denominations, upon an equal footing in 
Virginia. 

This was, ere long, succeeded by another measure, 
which gave a decisive blow to the establishment. The 
" declaration of rights," which had been made in the early* 
part of 1776, had proclaimed to all men the free exercise 
of religion; but the statutory provisions and common law 
doctrines concerning the church had not been formally re- 

* Journals of Convention of Au- t Semple's History of Virginia 
gust 16, 177.5, p. 17. Richmond Baptists, pp. 2.5, 26, 27, 62. 
edition of 1816. t 4 Burk, 59. 



1776.] IN VIRGINIA.. 139 

pealed or altered. The legislature, which was convened 
in October of 1776, was therelorc addressed by numerous 
petitions, from various parts of the slate, entreating for all 
religious sects "protection in the full exercise of their sev- 
eral modes of worship, and exemption from the payment 
of all taxes for the support of any church whatever, further 
than what might be agreeable to their own private choice 
or voluntary obligation."* Of these petitioners, some 
prayed that all " church eslahlisJunenls" might be put down; 
"all taxes on conscience" removed ; that the right of "pri- 
vate judgment" might be unrestrained, and each individual 
left "to rest upon bis own merit." Others simply asked to 
be freed from the payment of parochial charges, except for 
the support of their own clergy and poor. The presbytery 
of Hanover sought the entire demolition of all laws which 
made, or gave precedence to, an establishment; prayed 
that all religious sects might be protected in their modes of 
worship; and that the support of religion might be left 
entirely to voluntary contribution ; they stated that there 
was " no argument in fiwour of establishing the Christian 
religion, but what may be pleaded in favour of the tenets 
of Mohammed, by those who believe the AIcoran."f 

In these petitions, all classes in the community, with the 
exception of Churchmen and Methodists, joined ; these sent 
in their respective petitions for the continuance of the es- 
tablishment ;J and if the testimony of the Baptist chronicler 
may be relied on, the alliance between their opponents will 
scarce be thouuht to deserve the epithet, holy; for we are 
informed by him, that "the Presbyterians, Baptists, Qua- 
kers, deists, and the covetous, all prayed for this ;"§ thus 
presenting a strange and unnatural union of discordant 
materials, to be employed in the prostration of one form of 

♦ Journal of the Virginia House t Journals of Convention, p. 25. 
of Delegates for 1776, pp. 7, 15, 21, Richmond edition, 1828, 
24, 26, 35, 48. t Ibid. p. 47. 

() Leland's Chronicle. 



140 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1776. 

religion, and the setting up of others. The Baptists, though 
not to be outdone in zeal, were surpassed in ability by the 
Presbyterians ; and among many well written memorials 
from thai denomination, the ablest will probably be thought 
to have come from the presbytery of Hanover, the scene 
of Mr. Davies' former labours, and the birthplace of Presby- 
terianism in Eastern Virgmia. 

It has been said that, at this time, the dissenters from 
the establishment constituted at least two-thirds of the 
people;* and the fact may be so; though there are cir- 
cumstances which would seem to render it doubtful. 
Only fourteen years prior to this time, according to the 
evidence of an eyewitness, whose pursuits were likely 
to make him familiar with the various shades of religi- 
ous opinion in Virginia, the general sentiment of the 
eastern part of the state was opposed to the dissenters.f 
There must, therefore, within a comparatively short space 
of time, have been a most extraordinary cliange of reli- 
gious opinion, if the friends of the church had in fourteen 
years been reduced to a third, or less than a third, of the 
whole population. In addition to this, as will be seen pres- 
ently, the friends of the church, in resisting these petitions, 
besought the legislature to submit the question of the over- 
throw of the establishment to the great body of the people ;J 
thus indicating at least the belief that their numerical 
strength exceeded that of their opponents. The point is 
one, however, of little moment ; for if the measure sought 
by the petitioners was one legally and morally right, it 
should have been adopted, even had no one solicited it ; 
and if wrong, no numbers applying for it could make its 
adoption proper. It is thought that if the course adopted 
by Virginia requires any apology at all, it has better ground 

* 4 Burk, 180. This volume is t Jarratt's Life, 69. 

a continuation of Burk, by Jones and X 4 Burk, 182. 

Girardin. 1 Jefferson's Works, 31. 



1776.] IN VIRGINIA. 141 

to stand on than is furnished by the religious opinions of a 
majority of the inhabitants. 

The grounds on which the petitioners in general rested 
their claim were, that they laboured under burdens and 
restrictions inconsistent with equal rights, in tha compul- 
sory payment of taxes for the support a church to which 
they neither ''d, nor could conscientiously belong. This 
hardship, it was urged, was more particularly felt in the 
frontier counties, which possessed an abundant population, 
composed mostly of dissenters, upon whom had fallen the 
heavy burden of purchasing glebes and supporting the 
estabUshed clergy, where but few Episcopalians could be 
found to share the expense or reap the advantage. The 
temporal interests of the whole community, it was urged, 
would be promoted by allowing to every man the liberty 
of enjoying without restraint the rights of conscience : the 
nature of Christianity, it was said, was such that it might 
safely be intrusted to its own purity for its preservation, 
without calling in the aid of the civil power ; that no being 
but the Creator himself could authoritatively prescribe the 
mode of rendering to him that homage which he demanded 
as his due : and the severity of some of the earlier laws, 
imposing penalties on the unfortunate Quakers, was com- 
plained of as unworthy of an enlightened people. The 
practical evils resulting from the last cause mentioned, 
were nothing ; for, from the testimony of an historian far 
from friendly, we learn that the general liberality of opinion 
difiused throughout Virginia had greatly mitigated, and, 
it may be said, annulled in practice, most of these penal 
regulations. A mild and tolerating spirit, he says, ani- 
mated even the Episcopal clergy ; and dissenters of every 
denomination were regarded with Christian charity and 
benevolence.* 

* 4 Burk, 180 



142 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1776. 

The counter memorials, on the part of the church and 
Methodists, solicited the continuance of the establishment 
upon principles of justice, oi wisdom, and of policv. First, 
of justice : it was said that when the clergy of the estab- 
lished church undertook the care of parishes in Virginia, 
they depended upon the public faith for receiving, during 
life, or good behaviour, a fair compensation for their ser- 
vices ; this was promised by the laws of the land, and had 
become a vested right, held by a tenure not less sacred 
than that by which each citizen held his private property. 
As to such of the clergy as had no cures, it was argued, 
that having entered into holy orders, after spending their 
early years in making preparation, with expectations rea- 
sonably built upon existing laws, such expectations could 
not now be frustrated without imposing upon them an act 
of injustice. On the ground of wisdom, it was urged that 
all experience had shown that a religious establishment in 
a state was conducive to peace and happiness ; the practice 
of men being regulated by their opinions, it was wise in 
a state to afford security for the permanent maintenance of 
opinions, which, derived from the doctrines of Christianity, 
would give stabihty to virtue, and confidence to truth. And 
on considerations of policy, the continuance of the estab- 
lishment was urged, because, should all denominations be 
placed by law on a level, such equality could not long con- 
tinue : attempts would be made by the most powerful to 
extort an acknowledgment of superiority, or, at any rate 
to exercise the power which such superiority conferred ; 
and the contests, thus engendered, could not but give birth 
to confusion, and perhaps civil commotion. And, finally, 
the memorialists prayed that, before a decision was made, 
the question might be submitted to the people at large, as 
they had the best reasons for believing that a majority of 
the citizens desired the continuance of the church establish- 
ment.* 

* Journals of 1776, p. 47 ; 4 Burk, 180, et seq. ; 1 Jefferson's Worka, 33. 



1770.] IN VIRGINIA. 148 

The subject involved in these mennorials underwent a 
long and solemn debate. The great advocates for the 
church were Mr. Pendleton and Robert Carter Nicholas ; 
and its great opponent, Mr. Jefferson, represents the strug- 
gle as having been the severest in which he was ever en- 
gaged.* " The petitions were referred to the committee 
of the whole House on the state of the country : and, after 
desperate contests in that committee, almost daily, from 
the eleventh of October to the fifth of December," the dis- 
cussion was terminated by the passage of an act which 
repealed all laws of parliament rendering criminal the 
maintaining any opinion in matters of religion, forbearing 
to repair to church, or exercising any mode of worship 
whatever, or which prescribed punishments for the same. 
The dissenters were by the law exempted from all contri- 
butions for the support of the Episcopal church. Arrears 
of salaries due to the clergy were, however, secured, and 
they were permitted to receive them until the first day of 
the ensuing year. Glebes already purchased were reserved 
for the use of the Episcopal clergy ; and the churches and 
chapels already built, with the books and church plate, 
were preserved for the use of the Episcopalians. And this 
was the second law enacted by the first republican legisla- 
ture in Virginia.^ The question was also agitated, but its 
determination was expressly reserved until a future period* 
whether there should be a general assessment on the 
inhabitants for the support of religion, or whether such 
support should be left dependent solely on voluntary con' 
tributions. 

In recording these transactions, the remark, it is hoped, 
will not be deemed out of place, that however natural may 
have been the desire on the part of the clergy to perpetuate 
the establishment, as affording to them the means of sub- 
sistence, yet, on account of the existence of the church 

• I Jeflferson's Works, 32. t 9 Hening's Statutes, at large, p. 164. 



144 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1776, 

itself, anxiety was needless. Among the reasons which an 
intelligent Episcopalian reiiders for his attachment to the 
church, he will not forget to mention the fact, that there 
seems to be in the system of episcopacy what has been 
well termed " a conservative principle," which secures the 
existence of the church under circumstances the most 
calamitous ; so that of all religious denominations, there is, 
perhaps, not one which requires the aid of a legal estab- 
lishment less than does a church episcopally constituted. 
No American Christian, it is presumed, desires here a 
union of church and state ; and, of all American Chris- 
tians, the Episcopalian probably has least need desire it. 
The lessons of the past on this subject are strikingly im- 
pressive. The histories of the suffering churches of the 
Christians of St. Thomas in India, of the Waldenses, of the 
Scotch Episcopalians, together wiih that of the Protestant 
Episcopal church in America, all seem to attest the fact^ 
that for the preservation of purity of doctrine and primi- 
tive discipline, in Episcopal churches, no union with the 
civil power is necessary. The first three were tried in the 
fiery furnace of persecution, and, unsustained by any human 
aid, after years of suffering, came forth the same in doc- 
trine and in discipline that they were when first called to 
exercise the virtue of patient endurance ; while the last, 
though for a time prostrated in the dust, and clinging to 
existence by almost a single tie, has risen from her depres- 
sion without the aid of a legal establishment ; and holding 
on the even tenour of her way, is now exhibiting in her 
youthful strength, the same faith, imbodied in the same 
form of sound words, and united to the same system of 
polity which formed her distinguishing features in the day 
of prosperity, before she was shrouded in the darkness of 
that cloud which for a time almost hid her from view. 
Surely, in the retrospect of facts like these, an Episcopalian 
may be pardoned, should he deem it something more than 
a fond fancy, that the church of his affections does possess 



1776.] IX VIRGINIA. 145 

within herself a principle of preservation, and that " the 
foundations of episcopacy stand sure in the storm, not less 
than in the sunshine."* 

The effect, upon the clergy, of the law which destroyed 
the establishment, was such as might have been anticipated 
by all, and was foreseen by some: for the feelings of at- 
tachment entertained by a portion of the people for the 
church, did not probably extend very far towards the 
clergy, individually; many of them were personally ob- 
noxious, on account of the opinions which they enter- 
tained in the contest with England ; and among their most 
decided opponents, on political questions, were to be num- 
bered many Episcopalians, who distinguished between the 
church and her ministers. Deprived of their livings, some 
among the clergy must have fjund it difficult to procure a 
subsistence by continuing in the exercise of pastoral duty, 
among a people who disliked them, personally, for their 
politics ; whose contributions, if made at all, were precari- 
ous, because entirely voluntary; and who, besides, were 
harassed in their occupations, and straitened in their 
means, by a war which demanded from every one a por- 
tion of his time and of his money. The business of in- 
struction was resorted to by some, but with limited suc- 
cess; for the war of the revolution left the youth of the 
day but little opportunity for education. Many a stout 
lad shouldered his musket, and entering the army, at the 
age of fifteen or sixteen years, never relinquished his 
weapon, except in death upon the battle-field, until the 
struggle had terminated in the acknowledgment of his 
country's independence. 

Some of the clergy, to whose churches glebes were 
attached, still continued, under the law, to occupy and 
enjoy them, and officiated in their pulpits. As, how- 

* British Critic for January, 1831, reference to the Scotch Episcopal 
article vii. ; where this subject is church, 
forcibly illustrated, particularly with 

T 



146 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1776. 

ever, they still adhered to the English ritual, and, of 
course, prayed for his majesty of England, they could 
not fail to give offence. Threats and admonitions had 
the effect of frightening some, who discontinued the 
practice, and closed their churches ; while there were 
others, made of sterner stuff, who persisted in the per- 
formance of what they believed to be their duty; and, un- 
certain how far the excitement of the times might lead to the 
execution of some of the threats, in one instance, at least, 
the clergyman is known, after a farewell to his family, 
whom he would not permit to accompany him, to have 
ascended the pulpit with his pistols concealed in his bo- 
som, to be used, if necessary, for the protection and pres- 
ervation of his life.* Such firmness was not without 
its effect ; the resolute minister was never interrupted ; 
his house became the asylum of many of his persecuted 
brethren, as one of the surest places of safety; and con- 
tinuing in Virginia through the whole of the revolutionary 
storm, he lived to become a good citizen of the infant re- 
public, and to see the church of his affections rising from 
the dust. Tradition has preserved anecdotes and incidents 
of the day, which clearly prove the suffering condition to 
which some of the clergy were reduced. They encoun- 
tered poverty, suspicion, insult, and violence ; and an in- 
stance of the latter is related, which, as it furnishes the best 
illustration of the spirit of the times, is here recorded. 

A clergyman of the establishment, who had made him- 
self offensive by his attachment to England, was called 
from his bed at night, under the pretext of being required 
by a sick parishioner ; and having, by this artifice, fallen 
into the hands of his enemies, he was taken to a retired 
spot in the woods, out of the reach of assistance, stripped 
naked, tied to a tree, severely whipped, and then left in 

* MS. letter in the author's poasession, concerning some of the old 
Virginia clergy. 



1776.] IN VIRGINIA. 147 

that situation, until he was discovered on the next morn- 
ing and relieved.* 

During the years 1777 and 1778, the subject of religion 
continued to be brought to the attention of the legislature, 
by petitions and counter petitions. Some of these, admit- 
ting the question of establishments to be a debatable point, 
still prayed that the efforts made to injure what was left of 
the establishment might be checked. The presbytery of 
Hanover, as before, protested against any assessment for 
the support of religion ; while, on the other hand, the 
county of Caroline, approving of the act which released 
dissenters from taxation for the benefit of the establish- 
ment, prayed that there might be an assessment for the 
support of the Gospel ; that it might not be left to charity 
for its subsistence, as otherwise the parsimonious and in- 
different, who derived benefit from its existence, would 
yield nothing for its support. Others complained of irregu- 
larities in the worhsip of " sectaries," who held night meet- 
ings, to the injury of religion ; and asked that none but 
" licensed preachers" should be allowed to officiate in the 
public worship of God ; and they charged their opponents 
with artfully procuring, at such meetings, " the votes of 
infants," to the injury of religion in general, and of the 
establishment particularly.! Before the adjournment of 
the legislature of May, 1779, "a bill for establishing re- 
ligious freedom," putting upon an equality all denomina- 
tions, and providing for a general assessment for the sup- 
port of religion, was prepared ; and after passing two read- 
ings in the House of Delegates, seems to have been sent 
abroad among the people, that the general opinion of the 
community might be obtained thereon, prior to the next 
meeting of the legislature.J 



♦ MS. letter in the author's pos- ture of 1777, 1778, pp. 17, 27, 37, 

eession, concerning some of the old 54, May; 14, .')7, 75, 95, October. 
Virginia clergy. J Journal, May, 1779, pp. 34, 46 ; 

t See the JournaU of the Legisla- Journal of October, 1779, p. 37. 



148 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1776. 

It will hardly be imputed to the clergy as a crime, that, 
in the situation to which they found themselves reduced, 
many should be willing to abandon the country entirely. 
Many did abandon it ; and parishes from time to time be- 
came vacant, so that, ere long, a large majority of the 
cures were left unsupplied. The sacraments were no 
longer administered in many of the parishes; and this con- 
dition of affairs led to an effort, on the part of the Method- 
ists, to remedy the evil by an irregular ordination of min- 
isters among themselves.* Some of the clergy of the 
church advised them against the measure, but in vain ; and 
in 1778, a considerable number of the lay preachers earn- 
estly importuned Mr. Asbury, a prominent preacher among 
the Methodists, " to take proper measures that the people 
might enjoy the privileges of all other churches, and no 
longer be deprived of the Christian sacraments."-]- Mr. 
Asbury, who seems, at that time, to have been suspiciously 
watched, and indeed confined in the state of Delaware, 
as one disaffected to the American cause, professed the 
strongest attachment to the Church of England, and vio- 
lently opposed the proposed plan ; nay, he went so far as 
to write to some of the clergy of the establishment, re- 
proving them for not having checked, in its incipient stage, 
this approach to disorder.J Upon the refusal of Mr. As- 
bury to co-operate with them in their plan of ordination, a 
majority of the preachers withdrew from all connection 
with him and Mr. Wesley ; and choosing from their num- 
ber three senior members, these last proceeded to what 
they called an ordination of the rest, by the imposition of 
their hands ; and the preachers thus set apart proceeded to 
baptize and administer the Lord's Supper, wherever they 
went, to those whom they deemed suitable recipients. 
Afterward, Mr. Asbury, having obtained his liberty, visited 
Virginia, and by all the address in his power, with inde- 

^ * JarraU's Life, 111. ley, 350, 1 ; Jarratt's Life, 111, 112. 

t Coke and More's Life of Wes- | Jarratt's Life, 113. 



1778.] IN VIRGINIA. 149 

fatigable labour and attention, succeeded, at length, in 
bringing back the seceders one after another, and by a 
vote of one of the conferences, the ordination was declared 
invalid, and union was restored ;* while to prevent, as far 
as possible, a renewal of the complaint of the want of the 
sacraments, some, at least, of the Episcopal clergy travelled 
over large circuits for the purpose of baptizing the children 
of Methodists, and administering the Eucharist ; and con- 
tinued to do so until the final separation of the Methodists 
from the church, without desiring or receiving, for the ser- 
vice, the smallest compensation.! 

* Coke and More's Life of Wes- t Jarratt's Life, 1 U 

ley, 351 ; Jarratt's Life, 114. 



150 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1779. 



CHAPTER IX. 
1779-1784. 

General Assessment for support of the Clergy negatived — Disastrous edects 
of the Revolution upon the Church — Enemies of the Church petition 
for a general Assessment — Legislative sanction to the principle that 
Christianity should be supported by the State, but not any particular 
Denomination — Mr. Henry's efforts — His Christian Character — Incor- 
poration of the Church — History of the Secession of the Methodists — 
Mr. Wesley's Conduct — Consecration of Dr. Coke considered. 

In reply to the application which we suppose to have been 
made to the people for their sentiments, various answers 
were sent in : some expressed the opinion, *' that the Chris- 
tian religion, free from the errors of popery, and a general 
contribution for the support thereof, ought to be established 
from a principle of public utility ; and prayed that the 
reformed Protestant religion, including the different denom- 
inations thereof, with a general assessment for the sup- 
port of the same, might be established." Others asked for 
the passage of the bill precisely as set forth ; while another 
class asked for its rejection, and suggested such a religious 
establishment as they supposed would be beneficial.* 
Amid these confficting opinions it was difficult to determine 
what was the popular will ; and this legislative expedient, 
which could only serve, if successful, injudiciously to shift 
to the shoulders of some of the people a responsibility 
which should fearlessly have been met by their representa- 
tives, terminated in making more uncertain that which 
before was dubious enough. 

See Journalf . 



1779.] IN VIRGINIA. 151 

Some of the Episcopalians ventured also (as the circum- 
stances presented a favourable opportunity) once more 
to solicit security in the enjoyment of the church property. 
Their application extended no further ; for with the expe- 
rience of the past still dwelling freshly in their remem- 
brance, and with the opposition of their enemies increased 
rather than abated, they could scarcely have hoped for an 
entire restoration to all the privileges which they had lost. 

Whatever may have been the extent of their application, 
nothing seems to have been gained by it; and indeed the 
only legislation of this year which affected the church, ap- 
pears to have affected it injuriously. 

It will be remembered that in the first assembly of 1776, 
the question whether support should be given to the clergy 
by general assessment, or by leaving them to voluntary 
contribution, was purposely left open and its decision de- 
ferred to some future occasion. There can be little doubt 
that the distinguished individual who was the leader in 
securing the adoption of the measures already detailed, 
entertained the belief that it would be no difficult task to 
complete, at a future session, the work which he had begun; 
and to negative the plan of a general assessment for the 
support of Christianity : nor would his expectations in this 
particular have been disappointed, but for a circumstance, 
recorded by himself as having interposed obstacles. In 
his chief object, that of giving a death blow to the legalized 
superiority of the establishment over all other denomina- 
tions of Christians, he was very cordially supported by a 
large body of allies who belonged to the dissenting inter- 
est ; but when that great end was once attained, and every 
religious society stood upon the same level, the question in 
dispute assumed to these allies a very different aspect, and 
they deserted the standard under which they had before 
achieved their victory. They had prostrated the church, 
they had proved themselves to be not at all reluctant to 
strip her clergy of that competent maintenance which was 



152 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1779. 

secured to them by the possession of property ; but they 
now manifested an aversion, more natural than consistent, 
to being left to find a precarious support for themselves in 
the tender mercies of a set of voluntary contributors : 
they were, therefore, the advocates of a general assess- 
ment ;* and the manner, almost approaching to querulous- 
ness, in which this desertion is recorded, accompanied as it 
is by an insinuation as to the motives of the deserters, jus- 
tifies the suspicion that the defection was felt to be ungen- 
erous.-f The impartial reader of a future day will prob- 
ably conclude that it was a game, not unskilfully played 
on either side, in which the troops outwitted the general. 

At any rate, it is our province to record the fact, that in 
each successive meeting of the legislature from 1776 to 
1779, this questio vexaia was brought up for discussion, and 
the friends of voluntary contribution, apprehensive prob- 
ably of a final vote against them, laboured, and not without 
success, to suspend the decision from time to time, and leave 
the matter to be debated anew in the succeeding year. In 
1779, all things being now ready for a final vote, the ques- 
tion was settled against the system of a general assessment, 
and the establishment was finally put down.;}; 

The Baptists were the principal promoters of this work, 
and in truth aided more than any other denomination in its 
accomplishment. Their historian boasts that they alone 
were uniform in their efforts to destroy the system of an 
assessment and introduce the plan of voluntary contribu- 
tion ; that in the other denominations there was much divis- 
ion of sentiment between ministers and people, and that 
remonstrance came at last from none but Baptists.^ Whe- 
ther this be so or not, it is very certain that in the associations 
of that sect held from year to year, a prominent subject of 
discussion always was, as to the best mode of carrying on 



* See the Journals. X Ibid. ; 4 Burk, 377. 

t See 1 Jefferson's Works, 32. i) Semple's History, 72, 73. 



783.] IN VIRGINIA. 153 

the war against the former establishment.* After their 
final success in this matter of voluntary contribution, their 
next efforts were to procure a sale of the church lands: 
this, however, it seems, was not undertaken without some 
misgivings of its propriety ; for when the question was put 
in their " general committee," whether the glebes were 
public property, it was settled in the affirmative by a ma- 
jority of but one vote. That one vote sealed the fate of 
the church lands ; for the efforts of the Baptists never 
ceased, until, as we shall see hereafter, the glebes were 
sold.f 

The history of the church for the next few years, pre- 
sents a picture of but little variety ; when we catch a new 
feature in it, it is but to remark, that it is in melancholy 
keeping with the rest, and differs only by the introduction 
of a deeper shade. With roofless and deserted churches, 
with broken altars, and a clergy, some of whom were re- 
duced to the hard alternative of flight or starvation, it may 
readily be conceived what was its suffering condition. It 
existed, but more than that can hardly be said of it with 
truth. On the nineteenth of April, 1783, precisely eight 
years after the first eflusion of blood ai Lexington, peace 
was proclaimed to the American army by order of the 
commander-in-chief. Time was now afforded to men to 
direct their attention to the permanent establishment of 
such institutions, civil and religious, as might comport with 
their desires, or views of duty. Much was to be done : 
and rejoicing with thankfulness as now we may, in the pres- 
ent prosperity of the church in Virginia, it is well to look 
back on its condition as it emerged from the revolution, 
and by a contemplation of the difficulties which stood in 
the way of its resuscitation, be moved to the exercise of 
gratitude. When the colonists first resorted to arms, Vir- 
ginia, in her sixty-one counties, contained ninety-five par- 

• Semple, 64, 66, 70, 71, 73. t Ibid. 73, 74^ 



154 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [l7S3. 

ishes,one hundred and sixty-four churches and chapels, and 
ninety-one clergymen.* When the contest was over, she 
came out of the war, with a large number of her churches 
destroyed or injured irreparably, with twenty-three of her 
ninety-five parishes extinct or forsaken, and of the remain- 
ing seventy-two, thirty-four were destitute of ministerial 
services; while of her ninety-one clergymen, twenty-eight 
only remained, who had lived through the storm, and these, 
with eight others who came into the state soon after the 
struggle terminated, supplied thirty-six of the parishes. Of 
these twenty-eight, fifteen only had been enabled to con- 
tinue in the churches which they supplied prior to the com- 
mencement of hostilities ; and thirteen had been driven 
from their cures by violence or want, to seek safety or 
comfort in some one of the many vacant parishes, where 
they might hope to find, for a time at least, exemption from 
the extremity of suffering.f -iw 

For the destruction of the sacred edifices, most of which 
were substantial buildings of brick, every fair allowance 
should be made because of the confusion and lawless state 
of affairs inseparable from war. The buildings were in 
some instances required by the necessities of the public, 
and appropriated to objects foreign from the purpose of 
their erection ; it was not, therefore, to be wondered at, 
that, if used at all, they should sustain injury at the hands 
of a soldiery which, like all others, was not remarkable for 
a reverence of things sacred. But there was often a wan- 
tonness in the injury done, a deliberate desecration, which 
admits of no apology, and offers no better excuse than that 
it was the work of passionate ignorance, which identified 
the very " stones of the temple" with support to the crown 
of England. The evidences of this work of needless ruin 

* MS. list of parishes and incum- t This statement is derived from 

bents in Virginia in 1775 ; MSS. of a comparison of the lists of 1775 and 

General Convention; list of the par- 1776, with that reported to the First 

ishes and clergy of Virgii^ia, from Convention in 1785. 
the Virginia Almanac for 1776. 



nSS.J IN VIRGINIA. 165 

are still visible but too often in Eastern Virginia. It is 
scarcely possible for the Churchman, even now, to look 
without tears upon the venerable remains of mouldering 
churches which meet his eye in the " ancient dominion." As 
he gazes upon the roofless walls, or leans upon the little 
remnant of railing which once surrounded a now deserted 
chancel, as he looks out through the openings of a broken 
wall upon the hillocks under which the dead of former 
years are sleeping, with no sound to disturb his melancholy 
musings save the whispers of the wind through the leaves 
of the forest around him, he may be pardoned should he 
drop a tear over the desolated house of God ; and if he be 
a pious Churchman, the wreck around him may awaken 
thoughts of submission and humiliation, which will send 
him from the spot a sadder and a better man. 

In the midst of such ruin as has been described, the little 
remnant of the clergy looked around them in vain for those 
who were to repair the waste places over which they could 
do nothing but weep. Funds were required to rebuild 
ruined edifices, but they knew not whence these funds were 
to be derived. Sorely smitten by poverty, they had not 
even the ordinary alleviations of hope to cheer them, for 
there was a prejudice against them and the church, harder 
to encounter than poverty. They were not certain that 
they possessed even the right to repair, for it was not set- 
tled that the ownership of the property should continue in 
the church. They had, it is true, some friends, warm and 
able friends, who, occupying stations which they honoured 
by talent, were not backward to assert their claims in the 
halls of legislation : but they had also enemies possessed of 
talent and influence ; and these last, if they did not lead, 
were sustained by popular opinion, though there is reason 
to think that that which sustained them was in part at least 
created by them. 

These, then, were the difliculties which the Churchmen 
of Virginia had to encounter, and, for the present, they 



156 PRaTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1784. 

seem to have thought that they could do but little more 
than patiently wait until, in the progress of events, Provi- 
dence should make their way plain before them. It was 
not long before they were enabled to make their first step 
forward. It will be remembered that the party opposed to 
a general assessment f)r the support of the clergy, had 
finally succeeded, in 177".), in the establishment of the oppo- 
site system of voluntary contribution. Whether the ex- 
periment had resulted unfavourably to the growth of re- 
ligion among the people, or had materially impaired the 
means of their teachers, is not known ; but from some 
cause, the discovery seems to have been made, that if the 
clergy were retained at all, it was best to make such pro- 
vision for their necessities as would be permanent and cer- 
tain. Accordingly, in the assemblies of 1784, (for there 
were two,) a number of petitions, from difierent counties 
of the state, in which Churchmen and some of the members 
of other religious societies united, was presented to the 
legislature, praying that "as all persons enjoyed the benefit 
of religion, all might be required to contribute to the ex- 
pense of supporting some form of worship or other."* 

The substance of these petitions forms a part of the his- 
tory of the times : that from the Protestant Episcopal 
church set forth that " their church laboured under many 
inconveniences and restraints, by the operation of sundry 
laws in force, which direct modes of worship, and enjoin 
the observance of certain days, and otherwise produce 
embarrassment and difficulty ; and praying that all acts 
which direct modes of faith and worship, and enjoin the 
observance of certain days, may be repealed ; that the 
present vestry laws may be repealed or amended ; that the 
churches, glebe lands, donations, and all other property 
heretofore belonging to the established church, may be for 
ever secured to them by law ; that an act may pass to in- 

* Wirt's Life of Henry, 261 ; Journali of 1784- 



1784.J IN VIRGINIA. 157 

corporate the Protestant Episcopal Church in Virginia, to 
enable tiiem to regulate all the spiritual concerns of that 
church, alter its form of worship, and constitute such 
canons, by-laws, and rules for the government and good 
order thereof, as are suited to their religious principles ; 
and in general, that the legislature will aid and patronise 
the Christian religion." 

From another portion of the inliabifants came a state- 
ment to this effect : " that they are of opinion, a reasonable 
and moderate contribution of the people for the support of 
ministers of the Gospel, and the Christian religion in the 
public worship of God, is essential to the good order and 
prosperity of the commonwealth, and praying that an act 
may pass to that effect." 

The memorial ot '• the united clergy of the Presbyterian 
church" is worthy of notice. It protests against incorpo- 
rating religious societies ; and while they disapprove of 
legislative interference, in " the spiritual concerns of re- 
ligion," yet, abandoning their former ground, they add, " a 
general assessment for its support ought to be extended to 
those who profess the public worship of the Deity, and are 
comprised within the Bill of Rights." 

From the inhabitants of Mecklenburg, Lunenburg, and 
Amelia counties, the petition stated, " that they conceive the 
stability of our government, and the preservation of peace 
and happiness among the individuals of it, depend, in a 
great measure, on the influence of religion, without which, 
no government, however wisely formed, can long exist ; 
that they consider its rapid declension, within a few years, 
as proceeding from the inattention of the legislature, which 
has an undoubted right to compel every individual who 
partakes of those blessings, which are originally derived 
from it, to contribute to the support of it, and praying that 
an act may pass for a general assessment for that purpose, 
and for securing to the Protestant Episcopal church the 
property vested in it." 



158 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1784. 

There were petitions of an opposite character, which 
prayed " that no step might be taken in aid of reUgion, but 
that it mi^ht be left to its own superior and successful 
influence."* 

The committee, to whom these petitions were referred, 
reported a bill, the preamble to which, it will be seen, re- 
cognises as true two important principles connected with 
a subject of peculiar delicacy in the United States. These 
two principles are these : first, that the state ought to give 
the sanction of its support to the general diffusion of Chris- 
tian knowledge ; and, secondly, that it ought not to give 
its countenance to any distinctions of pre-eminence among 
different societies professing to be Christian. There may 
be those who will deem these two propositions incompati- 
ble ; such, however, was not the judgment of some of the 
wisest and the best of Virginia's early statesmen. The 
bill is entitled, "A b\\\, establis/iing a provision for teachers 
of the Christian religion," and the preamble is as follows : — 
•' Whereas, the general diflfusion of Christian knowledge 
hath a natural tendency to correct the morals of men, re- 
strain their vices, and preserve the peace of society; which 
cannot be effected without a competent provision for learned 
teachers, who may be thereby enabled to devote their time 
and attention to the duty of instructing such citizens, as 
from their circumstances and want of education cannot 
otherwise attain such knowledge ; and it is judged such 
provision may be made by the legislature, without counter- 
acting the liberal principle heretofore adopted, and intended 
to be preserved, by abolishing all distinctions of pre-emi- 
nence aujong the diflferent societies or communities of 
Christians, be it enacted," &c. The bill required of all 
persons, subject to taxes, to declare, at the time of giving 
in a list of their tithables, to what religious society their as- 
sessments should be appropriated ; and in the event of their 

* Journals of 1784. 



1784.] IN VIRGINIA. 159 

failing to do so, the sums assessed were to be paid to tiie 
treasurer, and applied by the legislature to the support of 
seminaries of learning in the counties from which the as- 
sessments might be paid. This bill received the warm 
support of Patrick Henry, whose powers had been exer- 
cised so unfortunately for the church on a previous occa- 
sion. And according to the journal of the House of Dele- 
gates, it appears to have passed to a second reading in that 
body, after which, it was engrossed and sent abroad through 
the state, to collect the opinions of the people upon the pro- 
priety of its passage at the succeeding session of the legis- 
lature ;* at that session it was rejected ; and its failure may 
be in part owing to the fact that Mr. Henry had ceased to 
be a member of the Houscf The church shared in com- 
mon with all other religious denominations, whatever evils 
may have resulted from the rejection of this bill ; but there 
was another measure adopted at this session of the legisla- 
ture, from which she derived a benefit, destined, however, 
to be of but short continuance. 

A resolution was reported by the chairman of a com- 
mittee of the whole House on the state of the common- 
wealth, that in the opinion of the committee, " acts ought 
to pass for the incorporation of all societies of the Christian 
religion, which may apply for the same ;" and the resolu- 
tion was adopted by a majority of nearly one-third of the 
House. Here again Mr. Henry gave to the measure his 
powerful support; and we learn, from his accomplished 
biographer, that his votes on these two measures formed 
the foundation of a charge against Mr. Henry of advocating 
the re-establishment of the Protestant Episcopal church. 

Against this accusation, he has already been defended 
with a success which is complete; and if there be any- 
thing to regret in the language which has been used by his 
amiable and gifted biographer, in setting forth that defence, 

• Journals of 1784. 1 Wirt's Life of Henry, 263. 



160 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1784. 

it is to be found in the statement which represents Mr. 
Henry as a believer in Christianity, without having a prefer- 
ence for any of the forms in which it is presented.* Chris- 
tianity, to be worth anything, must assume some distinct 
form of profession : it is di pi-actical principle, and worship 
constitutes one of its essential features. He therefore who 
acts upon its principles, cannot be indifferent to the pecu- 
liarities which mark his system of doctrine, or express his 
feelings of devotion. To each individual, his religion must 
be something, not general but particular, and all experience 
has shown that the avowal merely of Christianity in gen- 
eral, as to all practical effects, is ordinarily equivalent to 
an avowal of no Christianity at all. The biographer of 
Mr. Henry has recently gone down to the grave, amid the 
regrets of his countrymen, honoured for his talents, and 
what is better still, respected for his piety. The latter 
years of his life afford a striking illustration of that change 
in his sentiments, upon the point in discussion, which was 
produced by Christianity. He died in the Presbyterian 
communion, for which he had, by becoming a member, ex- 
pressed his honest preference. He had learned more of 
Christianity than he knew when he wrote the life of his 
distinguished countryman. Intentionally, he was incapable 
of misrepresentation, his hand would not have deliberately 
penned what he did not believe; and yet his statement as 
to Mr. Henry is inaccurate, for he was very far from having 
no preferences in his religion. He was, from his heart, an 
Episcopalian ; and it is gratifying to be able to record of 
the man, whose splendid talents alone placed him among 
the first of his countrymen, that there was a consistency and 
humility in his Christian character which formed his highest 
honour. It has been said that he was an unbeliever at one 
period of his life. On the authority of his own family, the 
assertion is denied. f " He ever had a great abhorrence of 

♦ Wirt's Life of Patrick Henry, session, containing information of 
262. Mr. Henry, derived from his widow 

i MS- letter in the author's pos- and descendants. 



1784.] IN vraaiNiA. 161 

infidelity, and a'^ttirlly wrote an answer to Palne's 'Age of 
Reason,' but destroyed it before his death ; lie received 
the communion as often as an opportunity was offered ; and 
on such occasions, always fasted until after he had received 
the sacrament, and spent the day in the greatest retirement. 
This he did, both wliile he was governor and afterward." 

A touching anecdote, illustrative of his humility, is re- 
corded by his biographer, for the introduction of which 
here no apology can be necessary. In the spring of 1799, 
when Mr. Henry was verging towards his threescore and 
ten years, the political aspect of affairs induced him to 
forego the comforts of his retirement, and to be presented 
as a candidate for the House of Delegates. " On the day 
of the election, as soon as he appeared on the ground, he 
was surrounded by the admiring and adoring crowd, and 
whithersoever he moved the concourse followed him. A 
preacher of the Baptist church, whose piety was wounded 
by this homage paid to a mortal, asked the people aloud, 
* Why they thus followed Mr. Henry ? Mr. Henry,' said 
he, * is not a god 1' ' No,' said Mr. Henry, deeply affected 
both by the scene and the remark, ' no, indeed, iny friend, 
I am but a poor worm of the dust ; as fleeting and unsub- 
stantial as the shadow of the cloud that flies over your 
fields, and is remembered no more.' The tone with which 
this was uttered, and the look which accompanied it, 
affected every heart and silenced every voice. Envy and 
opposition were disarmed by his humility ; the recollection 
of his past services rushed upon every memory, and he 
'read his history' in their swimming eyes."* 

We know not how, more appropriately, to terminate this 
passing notice of a great and a good man, than by present- 
ing his dying testimony in favour of that Christianity which 
he so consistently professed. " I have now," says he, in 
his last will, " disposed of all my property to my family. 

♦ Wirt's Life of Henry, 408. 
X 



162 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1784. 

Then; is one thing more I wish I could give them, and that 
is the Christian religion. If they have that, and I had not 
given them ne shilling, they would be rich ; and if they 
have not tfiat, and I had given them all this world, they 
would be poor." 

The church maybe grateful that she could number such 
a man as Mr. Henry among her members. The state 
which gave birth both to him and his biographer, should 
rejoice in the thought, that the lustre of splendid talents 
in two of her most gifted sons, was brightened by the 
lustre of humble piety ; and this digression will not be 
useless, should the examples it presents impress upon the 
reader the thought, that Christianity crowns, with new 
honours, exalted station on earth, and qualifies for the en- 
joyment of a more exalted station still in heaven. 

Upon the adoption of the resolution touching the incorpo- 
ration of such religious societies as might apply for it, an op- 
portunity was afforded to the church of acquiring and hold- 
ing property by applying for an act of incorporation; and on 
the same day which witnessed the adoption of the resolution, 
leave was given to introduce a bill for the incorporation of 
the clergy of the Protestant Episcopal church. Mr. Henry 
was one of the committee appointed to bring in the bill, 
the enactments of which were substantially as follows : — 

The minister and vestry of each parish already in being, 
or thereafter to be established, were made a body corpo- 
rate, and as such, each parish was authorized to have, hold, 
use, and enjoy all glebe lands already purchased, all 
churches and chapels already built, with the burying- 
grounds belonging to them, and all such as were contracted 
for and begun before the first of January, 1777 ; to be held 
for the use of the respective parishes, together with all 
books, plate, and ornaments, and every other thing, the 
property of the late establis'ied church. And it was also 
enacted, that in all proceedings of ministers and vestries a 
majority of votes should decide, nor should the minister in 



1784.] IN VIRGINIA. 103 

any case be permitted to interpose his veto on the proceed- 
ings of the corporation. 

The ministers and vestries thus incorporated were 
allowed to acquire, use, and enjoy property, provided the 
income thence arising did not exceed eight hundred pounds 
per annum. 

The minister, or, in case of his absence, the churchwar- 
dens, were to call meetings of the corporators when neces- 
sary, and seven were competent to transact any business, 
except to demise, alien, or lease the church property ; in 
which cases a majority of the whole was necessary. They 
had power to make their own regulations for the manage- 
ment of their temporal concerns, and to the vestry solely 
belonged the disposition and ordering of all payments of 
the moneys of the church, by officers of their own appoint- 
ment. 

In cases where parishes were vacant, and there were no 
ministers or vestrymen, power was given to any two rep- 
utable inhabitants, members of the Episcopal church, to 
call together all Episcopalians resident within that parish, 
and they were authorized, by a majority of votes, to elect 
twelve able and discreet men, members of the church, who 
should, when elected, be a vestry to all intents and pur- 
poses. 

Elections of vestrymen were to be held on the Monday 
of Easter week in every third year thereafter, for ever: 
they were to be held at the parish church, or some other 
convenient place in the parish ; their number was to be 
twelve, and no person in the parish was entitled to a vote, 
who did not profess himself to be a member of the Protes- 
tant Episcopal church, and contribute to its support. The 
vestrymen elected, before entering upon their duties, were 
required to subscribe a declaration to be conformable to the 
doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Protestant Epis- 
copal church. They were then to appoint, from their own 
body, two churchwardens, and had power to fill any 



164 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1784. 

vacancies among thennselves until the succeeding triennial 
election. 

Each vestry was required, once in three years, to exhibit 
upon oath to the court of the county in which the parish 
was situated, an account and inventory of all the properly 
of their church, real and personal, together with a state- 
ment of the annual revenue thence arising; and in case of 
failure to perform this duty within twelve months after the 
appointed time, the vestry were to pay one hundred pounds 
for the use of the slate, and on a second failure, to forfeit 
their privileges as a corporation. Wherever the annual 
income was reported to exceed eight hundred pounds, it 
was the duty of the court to report the same to the gover- 
nor, to be laid by him before the next General Assembly. 

All former laws made for the government of ihe church 
or clergy, during the colonial existence of the state, were 
repealed, and the church was thenceforth authorized, in 
conventions held as often as she might deem necessary, to 
regulate all her religious concerns, settle all matters touch- 
ing doctrine, discipline, and worship, and make such rules 
as she saw fit for orderly and good government. The con- 
vention was to be composed of all ministers of the church, 
ex officio, and of two laymen from each parish, to be 
chosen by their respective vestries. Forty persons were 
necessary to constitute a convention, and it was expressly 
provided that no law should be made whereby a clergyman 
might be received into, or removed from, a cure contrary 
to the consent of a majority of the vestry. The ministers 
and lay men, assembled in general convention, had the power, 
however, upon good cause shown, to remove from any 
parish a minister who was accused of unworthy behaviour, 
or neglected the duties of his office.* 

It cannot escape observation, that this law manifests, on 
the part of the laity, a suspicious jealousy of the clergy ; it 

* 1 1 Hening's Statutes, at large, 532. 



1784.] IN VIRGINIA. 165 

had been engendered by a sad experience of the past, and 
therefore the laity kept the purse-strings in their own hands. 
But, with perhaps one or two trifling exceptions, the law is 
equitable; it was designed to provide permanently for the 
support of faithful ministers, but it meant also to preserve 
a salutary check upon laziness and wickedness. A pastor, 
conscientiously disposed to discharge his duty, might live 
happily and comfortably under such a law; and we hear of 
no complaints made by the clergy of that day against its 
provisions. Its passage was hailed with thankfulness, and 
a day of brightness seemed about to dawn upon the tem- 
poral interests of the church. 

But contemporaneously with the circumstances just 
related, an incident occurred which was afterward to aid 
in dissipating the short-lived joy which the incorporation of 
the church had occasioned. Up to this time, the Methodists 
had continued in alliance with the church, and professed to 
consider themselves as a part of it ; but the time had now 
come for their final separation from it. The incipient 
steps in this business are thus related by two of the histo- 
rians of Methodism.* " When peace was established be- 
tween Great Britain and the States, the intercourse was 
opened between the societies in both countries. Mr. Wes- 
ley then received from Mr. Asbury a full account of the 
progress of the work during the war; and especially of 
the division which had taken place, and the difficulties he 
met with before it was healed. f He also informed Mr. 
Wesley of the extreme uneasiness of the people's minds 
for want of the sacraments: that thousands of their chil- 
dren were unbaptized ; and the members of the society in 
general had not partaken of the Lord's Supper for many 
years. Mr. Wesley then considered the subject, and in- 
formed Dr. Coke of his design of drawing up a plan of 



* Life of Wesley by Coke and f Vide ante, pp. 148, 149. 

More, p. 351. 



166 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1784. 

church government, and of establishing an ordination for 
his American socieiies. But, cautious of entering on so 
new a plan, he afterward suspended the execution of his 
purposes, and weighed the whole for upward of a year. 
At the conference held in Leeds, 1784, he declared his 
intention of sending Dr. Coke and some other preachers to 
America. Mr. Richard Whatcoat and Mr. Thomas Vasey 
offered themselves as missionaries for that purpose, and 
were accepted. Before they sailed Mr. Wesley abridged 
the common prayer book, and wrote to Dr. Coke, then in 
London, desiring him to meet him in Bristol to receive 
fuller powers, and to bring the reverend Mr. Creighton 
with him. The doctor and Mr. Creighton accordingly met 
him in Bristol, when, with their assistance, he ordained 
Mr. Richard Whatcoat and Mr. Thomas Vasey presbyters 
for America, and did afterward ordain Dr. Coke superin- 
tendent, giving him letters of ordination under his hand 
and seal, and, at the same time, a letter to be printed and 
circulated in America." To this statement it should here 
be added, that Dr. Coke also wrote to Mr. Wesley urging 
him to ordain him bishop.* On the third of November, 
1784, Dr. Coke arrived in New- York, and on the fourteenth, 
met Mr. Asbury for the first time, who, upon hearing of 
the new plan, expressed strong doubts about it,f which by 
some means or other were soon removed, as subsequent 
events proved. On Christmas eve a general conference 
of the Methodists assembled by appointment at Baltimore, 
by which a circular letter from Mr. Wesley, of which Dr. 
Coke was the bearer, dated September 10th, 1784, was 
published, from which the following extracts are presented. 
The letter is addressed to Dr. Coke, Mr. Asbury, and our 
brethren in America. 

" By a very uncommon train of providences, many of 

♦ See Whitehead's Life of Wes- f Coke's Journal, 

ley, in which the letter is published. 



1784.] IN VIRGINIA. 167 

the provinces of North America are totally disjoined from 
their mother country, and erected into independent states. 
The English government has no authority over them, either 
civil or ecclesiastical, any more than over the states of 
Holland. A civil authority is exercised over them, partly 
by the congress, partly by the provincial assemblies. But 
no one either exercises or claims any ecclesiastical au- 
thority at all. In this peculiar situation, some thousands 
of the inhabitants of these states desire my advice, and 
in compliance with their desire I have drawn up a little 
sketch. 

" For many years I have been importuned, from time to 
time, to exercise the right of ordaining part of our travel- 
ling preachers. But I have still refused : not only for peace' 
sake, but because I was determined, as little as possible, to 
violate the established order of the national church to which 
I belonged. 

" But the case is widely different between England and 
North America. Here there are bishops who have a legal 
jurisdiction. In America there are none, neither any parish 
ministers ; so that for some hundred miles together, there 
is none either to baptize, or to administer the Lord's Sup- 
per. Here, therefore, my scruples are at an end; and I 
conceive myself at full liberty, as I violate no order, and 
invade no man's right, by appointing, and sending labourers 
into the harvest. 

" I have accordingly appointed Dr. Coke and Mr. Francis 
Asbury to be joint superintendents over our brethren in 
North America ; as also Richard Whatcoat and Thomas 
Vasey to act as elders among them, by baptizing and ad- 
ministering the Lord's Supper. And I also advise the elders 
to administer the Supper of the Lord on every Lord's 
day. 

" If any one will point out a more rational and scriptural 
way of feeding and guiding those poor sheep in the wilder- 



1G8 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1784. 

ness, I will gladly embrace it. At present I cannot see 
any better method than that I have taken."* 

The appointment merely of Mr. Asbury does not seem 
to have been deemed sufficient to confer upon him any nevr 
powers, and accordingly we find him receiving such ordi- 
nation to the offices of deacon and priest as Dr. Coke could 
bestow, and afterward obtaining from the same hands what 
was deemed a consecration to the episcopate. The use of 
the phrase, superintendent, was ere long discontinued, and 
that of bishop (which has ever since been retained) was 
substituted for it. The separation between the church and 
Methodists was made entire by the circumstances just re- 
lated, and it is not here necessary to pursue further the his- 
tory of the latter ; there are, however, certain facts con- 
nected with the transaction which form a part of its true 
history, and which, therefore, it would be wrong to with- 
hold. 

The plan of ordination and church government which 
Mr. Wesley so appropriately termed new, does not appear, 
from the account of Dr. Coke, to have been communicated 
by Mr. Wesley to the conference prior to its execution ; 
he declared his intention simply of sending Dr. Coke and 
other ministers to America. In fact, we are elsewhere 
told that information of its actual execution v^ras never 
given to the conference until 1786,f before which time, 
probably, intelligence of the act had reached them from 
America. It was therefore the act of Mr. Wesley alone. 

It was an act, upon the pr< priety of which he took no 
counsel with his most intimate friends. His brother, Mr. 
Charles Wesley, in a letter to Dr. Chandler, written in 
1785, thus expresses himself: — 

" I can scarcely yet believ^e, that in his eighty-second 

* Coke and More's Life of Wes- + M yie's Chronological History of 
ley, 352. the Methodists, 162. 



1784.] IN VIRGINIA. 1G9 

year, my brother, my old intimate friend and companion, 
should have assumed the cpisscopal character, ordained 
elders, consecrated a bishop, and sent him to ordain the 
lay preachers in America. I was then in Bristol, at his 
elbow; yet he never gave me the least hint of his inten- 
tion. How was he surprised into so rash an action ? He 
certainly persuaded himself that it was right." 

The reasons assigned for the act, by Mr. Wesley, were 
not at all times the same. In his letter, as published by the 
conference, he stated that his scruples were at an end, and 
he considered himself at full liberty, because America was 
destitute of bishops, and belonged not to the jurisdiction of 
any English prelate. On another occasion, wlien, at the 
request of Jones of Nayland, inquiry was made of him 
whether it was true that he had invested persons with the 
episcopal character, and sent them to America; after some 
hesitation, he admitted the fact, and assigned as a reason 
for his conduct, that after the revolution each denomination 
was making efibrts to swell its numbers, and the Bnptisls 
particularly were greatly increasing, to the injury of the 
church.* He had, therefore, taken the step with the hope 
of preventing further disorders. 

If the object of Mr. Wesley was to secure to America 
the episcopate, the course pursued was rendered unneces- 
sary by existing circumstances. Dr. Seabury of Connecti- 
cut had been nearly two years in England soliciting epis- 
copal consecration, and in consequence of difficulties,arising 
entirely from the English law, was on the point of going to 
Scotland to be consecrated there, at the very moment when 
Mr. Wesley laid his hands on Dr. Coke : and it cannot be 
supposed that Mr. Wesley was ignorant of these facts, par- 
ticularly as we find them to have been well known to his 
brother Charles. 

The latter gentleman, in the letter to Dr. Chandler, 

* Life of Bishop Home, by Jones of Nayland, pp. 148, 4, 6. 
Y 



170 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [l784t 

already referred to, speaking of the American Methodists* 
uses this language : — " How have they been betrayed into 
a separation from the Church of England, which their 
preachers and they no nnore intended than the Methodists 
here? Had they had patience a little longer, they woald 
have seen a real primitive bishop in America, duly conse- 
crated by three Scotch bishops, who had their consecra- 
tion from the English bishops, and are acknowledged by 
them as the same with themselves. There is, therefore, 
not the least difference between the members of Bishop 
Seabury's church and the members of the Church of Eng- 
land. I had the happiness to converse with that truly 
apostolic man, who is esteemed by all that know him, as 
much as by you and me. He told me that he looked upon 
the Methodists in America as sound members of the church, 
and was ready to ordain any of their preachers whom he 
should find duly qualified." In point of fact, Bishop Sea- 
bury had received consecration on the fourteenth of No- 
vember, when the conference assembled at Baltimore, on 
the twenty-fourth of the succeeding month. 

Without intending, by these remarks, to disparage John 
Wesley, (a man whose zeal, whose talents, and whose 
efforts exerted perseveringly in the cause of religion, should 
cover many faults,) we feel ourselves constrained to adopt 
an opinion which seems to have assumed, at least, the 
shape of a suspicion in the mind of his brother. With an in- 
tellect enfeebled by the weight of four score and two years, 
he was seduced, by those who would use his vast influence 
for purposes of their own, into the adoption of a plan which 
the better judgment of his more vigorous understanding 
had more than once rejected. It is believed to have been 
the contrivance of a few individuals, who took advantage of 
the infirmities of age, to procure from the dying ruler a 
decree which should transmit the sceptre to themselves. 
There are others more deserving of censure, in this trans- 
action, than John Wesley ; and such seems to have been the 



J '''84.] IN vinoTNiA. 171 

opinion of his brother, and two at least of his biographers.* 
Annhition was gratified at the price of a sef)aration be- 
tween those who should never have been severed, and of 
whom, it is at least pleasant to indulge the hope that the 
day nnay yet come, when they shall again be one. 

* See Dr. Whitehead's and Mr. Hampson^s Lives of Wesley. The 
former jjentleman, speaking of the consecration of Dr. Coke, remarks, " that 
the person who advised the measure, would be proved to have been a felon 
to Methodism, and to have stuck an assassin's knife into the vitals of its 
body." 



17g rnOTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1784. 



CHAPTER X. 

1784-1789. 

Enmity of PresNyterians and Baptists to the Church — Act for establishing 
reli'nous Freedom — Mr. Jefferson — Mr. Madison's Memorial First Con- 
yention of the Church in 1785 — Address of the (Convention to Church- 
men — Means proposed forsupport of the Clergy — Canons of the Church — 
Discipline — Church in Virginia declines receiving Holy Orders from Den- 
mark — First General Convention ; Virginia represented there — Conduct 
of Virginia Church on the proposed Articles of Union — Instruction to 
Virginia Delegates to General Convention of 1785 — Baptists and Pres- 
byterians ask for the Property of the Church — " The proposed Book" — 
Articles of Religion — Decision of Virginia on "The proposed Book" and 
Articles — Dr. Griffith elected first Bishop of the Church in Virginia — 
Mistake concerning his Election rectified — Instructions of Virginia Con- 
vention to Delegates to General Convention of 1786 — Repeal of the Act 
of Incorporation — General Conventions of 1786 — Proceedings of Vir- 
ginia thereon — Remedies adopted to supply the want of Act of Incorpo- 
ration — Address of the Convention of 1787 to the Church — Dr. Griffith 
not consecrated — Causes thereof — Early efforts of Virginia in behalf of 
Clerical Education — Case of Discipline. 

Scarcely had the church begun to reap the benefits 
resulting from its incorporation by the legislature, before it 
was again assailed. The presbytery of Hanover, in the 
same year in which the act of incorporation was passed, 
presented a memorial to ihe legislature complaining of the 
peculiar privileges which the church was said thereby to 
obtain. It was stated that she could " receive and possess 
property without trouble or risk in securing it ; while other 
Christian communities were obliged to trust to the preca- 
rious fidelity of trustees chosen for the purpose." It was 
in vain to answer tliat there was no difficulty in obtaining 
incorporation for the Presbyterian church; that the iegis* 



1785.] IN VIRGINIA. 173 

lature was ready and willing to confer on it every privilege 
which it had conferred on any other religious society. And 
when, at the next succeeding session of the legislature, a 
bill was introduced for the incorporation of other denomi- 
nations of Christians, the presbytery of Hanover petitioned 
that it might not pass, objected to it as contrary to their 
views of propriety, and actually declined taking any benefit 
of incorporation under it, should it become a law.* It will 
scarcely be thought strange that this manifestation of a 
willingness to forego what they themselves owned to be a 
benefit, because obliged to share it with Episcopalians, 
should have been construed, as it was, into a settled deter- 
mination, if possible, to destroy the Episcopal church 
entirely. 

How far the decided opposition of the Presbyterians and 
Baptists to any act which might benefit the Episcopal 
church, may have influenced the legislature, it is impossible 
to say. There was, however, in that body, an individual 
of great influence, of whom (if his own writings may be 
considered sufficient testimony) it is not injustice to say, 
that he would have thought it no honour to be suspected of 
a belief in Christianity ; and in eradicating what he thought 
a pestilent error, he probably was not unwilling to avail 
himself of all the aid which these petitions against the 
church could possibly afford. There is reason in his case, 
therefore, to believe that under cover of an attack upon a 
religious establishment, a blow was aimed at Christianity 
itself. Be this as it may, it is certain that an act was 
passed by the legislature of 1785, which was viewed by 
many as utterly subversive, in its declarations, of the Chrise 
tian religion, and called forth at the time the severe ani- 
madversions of some who still reverenced the faith of the 
apostles.f This was the " Act for establishing Religious 

* See the Journals of 1784- act for the establishment of religious 

t Considerations on an act of the freedom. By a citizen of Phi.adel- 
legislature of Virginia, entitled An phia. 1786. 



174 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1785- 

Freedom," drawn by Mr. Jefferson,* and preceded by a 
memorial from the pen of Mr. Madison, which is supposed 
to have led to the passage of the law. It is, however, due 
to the last named gentleman to state that his production is 
not an attack upon Christianity ; but very forcibly presents 
objections to religious establishments in general ; in the op- 
position to wl ich it is believed that a large majority of his 
countrymen, if not all of them, would be found to concur. 
It is no part of our province, however, to enter upon a full 
discussion of the principles avowed in either of these docu- 
ments ; our duty now is simply to present such facts as 
will enable the reader to form his own opinion. 

The memorial was presented to the legislature of 1785, 
as has been stated, and offered substantially the following 
views : — that religion must be left to the conviction and con- 
science of every man, and that his right to determine the 
question of his religion is inalienable ; that it is the duty of 
every man to render to his Creator such homage as he 
thinks will be acceptable to him ; that every man on enter- 
ing society reserves his allegiance to the Universal Sove- 
reign ; and, consequently, that in matters of religion no 
man's rights can be abridged by the institutions of civil 
society: hence it is argued that if religion be exempt from 
the interference or authority of society at large, a fortiori 
it must be from that ot the legislative body. The memo- 
rial further stated, that it was proper vigilantly to guard 
against the first experiment upon our liberties ; and that if 
Christianity might be established, the power by which it 
was done was competent also to establish one sect in pre- 
ference to another; and that such preference violates that 
equality which ought to be the basis of every law, for all 
men enter society upon equal conditions. It was urged 
also that the civil magistrate is not a competent judge of 
religious truth, nor has he a right to employ religion as an 

* I JefTerson^s Works, p. 36. 



1785.] IN VIRGINIA. 175 

engine of civil policy. It is an unhallowed perversion of 
the means of salvation. Again, Christianity does not re- 
quire an establishment to support it. It has no dependance 
upon the power of this world ; and the effect of establish- 
ments is to corrupt religion. Neither does civil govern- 
ment require the aid of an establishment. A law making 
an establishment is but the signal for persecution ; its ten- 
dency is to banish a portion of the citizens, and destroy 
moderation and harmony ; it is therefore adverse to the 
diffusion of Christianity ; and unless such a law is clearly 
demanded by a majority of the citizens, its tendency is to 
enervate the laws and thus weaken the bands of society. 

The act for the estabhshment of religious freedom was 
passed the twenty-sixth of December, 1785, and is in these 
words : — 

"Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free: 
that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or 
burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget 
habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure 
from the plan of the holy Author of our religion ; who 
being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propa- 
gate it by coercions on either, as was in his almighty power 
to do: that the impious presumption of legislators and 
rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who being themselves 
but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion 
over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and 
modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such 
endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established 
or maintained false religions over the greatest part of the 
world, and through all time : that to compel a man to fur- 
nish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions 
which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical : that even the 
forcing him to support this or that preacher of his own 
religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable 
liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor 
whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose pow- 



176 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1785. 

ers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is with- 
drawing from the ministry those temporal rewards, which, 
proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct, 
are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting 
labours for the instruction of mankind : that our civil rights 
have no dcpendance on our religious opinions, any more 
than our opinions in physic and geometry : that therefore 
the proscribing any citizen as unworthy of the public con- 
fidence, by laying upon him an incapacity ot being called 
to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or re- 
nounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him inju- 
riously of those privileges and advantages to which, in 
common with his fellow- citizens, he has a natural right: 
that it tends only to corrupt the principles of that religion 
it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of 
worldly honours and emoluments those who will externally 
profess or conform to it: that though indeed those are 
criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither 
are those innocent who lay the bait in their way ; that to 
suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the 
field of opinion, and to restrain the profession or propaga- 
tion of principles on suspicion of their ill tendency is a 
dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious 
liberty ; because, he being, of course, judge of that ten- 
dency, will make his opinions the rule of judgment, and 
approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they 
shall square with or differ from his own: that it is time 
enough for the rightful purposes of civil government for its 
officers to interfere, when principles break out into overt 
acts against peace and good order ; and, finally, that truth 
is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the 
proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing 
to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition dis- 
armed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, 
errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely 
to contradict them : 



1785.] IN VIRGINIA. 17T 

" Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, that 
no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any reli- 
gious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be 
enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or 
goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious 
opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, 
and by argument to maintain their opinions in matters of 
religion, and that the same shall in nowise diminish, en- 
large, or affect their civil capacities. 

"And though we well know that this assembly, elected 
by the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only, 
have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding assemblies, 
constituted with powers equal to our own, and that there- 
fore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in 
law, yet we are free to declare and do declare that the 
rights hereby asserted are of the natural right of mankind, 
and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the 
present, or narrow its operation, such act will be an in- 
fringement of natural right."* 

The inconsistency of this latter clause, with some of the 
principles avowed in the very argumentative preamble to 
this law, will not escape the attention of the observant 
reader. A solemn protest against any change in a law 
which, certainly in effect, establishes a certain set of 
opinions as the only orthodox standard of religious senti- 
ment, comes with peculiar ill grace from those who des- 
cant upon "the impious presumption of legislators and 
rulers, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired 
men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, set- 
ting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the 
only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to im- 
pose them upon others through all time." 

There is an air of self-satisfaction with which the author 
of this law records the fact of his having prepared it, which 

* Revised Code of Virginia, vol. i. p. 41. 

Z 



178 I'ROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [l78D, 

leaves no doubt that in the review of his political career, 
his mind dwelt with peculiar complacency upon this inci" 
dent of his life : he informs us that the law was "drawn in 
all the latitude of reason and right ;" that it met with some 
opposition, but finally passed ; and in the spirit of exulta- 
tion, which he cannot conceal, at the success of his effort to 
degrade Christianity to a level with the creed of Mecca, 
he proceeds to relate with approbation a circumstance 
clearly indicative of his design to heap dishonour upon the 
faith of Christians. We are informed by him that an 
amendment was proposed to the preamble by the insertion 
of the name of our Saviour before the words " The holy 
Author of our religion ;" this could at most have had no 
other effect upon the enacting clause, but that of granting 
the utmost freedom to all denominations professing to own 
and worship Christ, without affording undue preference to 
any ; and against this, it would be unreasonable to object: 
certain it is, that more than this had never been asked by 
any religious denomination in Virginia, in any petition pre- 
sented against the church : the public, therefore, would 
have been satisfied with such an amendment; the proposed 
alteration, however, was rejected, and it is made the sub- 
ject of triumph that the law was left, in the words of its 
author, " to comprehend within the mantle of its protection, 
the Jew and the gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, 
the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination."* That 
these various classes should have been protected, both in 
person and property, is obviously the dictate of justice, of 
humanity, and of enlightened policy, but it surely was not 
necessary in securing to them such protection, to degrade, 
not the establishment, hut Christianity itself to a level with 
the voluptuousness of Mohammed, or the worship of Jug- 
gernaut i and if it be true that tiere is danger in an estab- 
lished alliance between Christianity and the civil power, 

♦ Jeffeir«'on'« Works, vol. i. pp. SB, 37. 



J 785.] IN VIRGINIA. 179 

let it be remembered that there is another alliance not less 
fatal to the happiness, and subversive of the intellectual 
freedom of man — it is an alliance between the civil author- 
ity and infidelity: which, whether formally recognised or 
not, if permitted to exert its influence, direct or indirect, 
will be found to be equally ruinous in its results. On this 
subject, revolutionary France has once read to the world 
an impressive lesson, which it is to be hoped will not 
speedily be forgotten. 

The course of our narrative has now brought us to the 
first convention of the Protestant Episcopal church in 
Virginia, which was held after the war of the revolution. 
It assembled in the city of Richmond, on the 18th of May, 
1785, and was attended by thirty-six clergymen and sev- 
enty-one laymen.: the body was organized by the unani- 
mous appointment of the Rev. Dr. Madison, president of 
William and Mary College, as the presiding officer, and 
the Rev. Robert Andrews as secretary; and several topics 
of interest awaited the consideration of the convention. 
Among these the depressed state of the church occupied a 
prominent place, and it was felt that immediate measures 
were demanded to arouse the zeal and stimulate the efl^orts 
of every Churchman in Virginia. Accordingly, the first 
resolution adopted by the house, after resolving itself into 
a committee of the whole upon the state of the church, was, 
"that an address be prepared to the members of the Protcst- 
a-nt Episcopal church in Virginia, representing the con- 
dition of the church, and exhorting them to unite in its sup- 
port." 

In this document, after an allusion to the eternal interests 
involved in the belief of Christianity, the convention pro- 
ceeded to dwell upon the benefits which the Christian faith 
conferred upon society, and appealing to the feelings of 
those who professed " to be conscious of the scriptural au- 
thority of the church," thus urged her claims: "Of what is 
the church now possessed ? Nothing but the glebes and 



180 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1785. 

your affections. Since the year 1776, she hath been even 
wiiljout regular government; and her ministers have re- 
ceived but little compensation for their services. Tlieir 
numbers are diminished by death and other causes, and we 
have as yet no resource within ourselves for a succession 
of ministers. Churches stand in need of repair, and there 
is no fund equal to the smallest want." After informing 
them of the organization of the church, it is asked, " But 
whither must our labours tend without your assistance? 
To contempt, they cannot; for we have the consciousness 
of aiming at our common welfare alone. To almost every- 
thing under the sun belongs a crisis, which, if embraced, 
stamps our endeavours with success ; if lost, with ruin. In 
this situation does our church now stand." " We there- 
fore entreat you in the most solemn manner, we conjure 
you by all the ties of religion, to co-operate fervently in the 
cause of our church. Should these our earnest efforts be 
abortive, we shall always with truth call the Searcher of 
hearts to witness that the downfall of the Protestant Epis- 
copal church is not to be named among our offences, and 
to this admonition shall we ever appeal."* 

To remedy the evils which resulted from the want of an 
income for the support of the clergy, it was next recom- 
mended that the several vestries throughout the state 
should take immediate measures to procure, by voluntary 
subscriptions, a competent support for the incumbents of 
their respective parishes : but the evil to which the conven- 
tion seemed to be most sensibly alive, was the want of 
some one clothed with authority over the clergy, and com- 
petent to administer discipline when necessary. Accord- 
ingly, in this their first convention, after appointing a stand- 
ing committee, composed of clergy and laity, they instructed 
them to consider of the proper steps to obtain consecra- 
tion for a bishop, and of providing means for his support, 

** Journals of the Convention of 1785. 



1785.] IN VIRGINIA. 181 

and to make report on these subjects at the next conven- 
tion. And in the interval, care was taken by certain rules 
adopted for the order, government, and discipline of the 
church, to provide for the faithful performance of their 
duty, on the part of the clergy, and to punish its non-per- 
formance. Thus, it was directed tluit the country should 
be divided into districts ; that one of the clergy of each dis- 
trict should be appointed by the convention with the title 
of visiter, who should preside in the meetings which the 
clergy of each district were required to hold annually ; and 
that the visiter should annually visit each parish in his dis- 
trict, should attend to and inspect the morals and conduct 
of the clergy, should see that the rules of the church were 
observed, admonish and reprove, privately, those clergy- 
men who were negligent, or acted improperly, and should 
make to each convention a report of all offenders among 
the clergy, and of the state of each parish in his district. 

No person thereafter was to be permitted to enter upon 
the pastoral care of any parish, who could not produce 
satisfactory evidence of his moral and religious character 
to a committee appointed by the convention for that pur- 
pose. 

Provision was also made for the speedy trial of an offend- 
ing clergyman, and even the bishop (should they succeed 
in obtaining one) was made amenable to the convention, 
which was constituted a court for his trial ; and from the 
decision made by that tribunal, no appeal was to be al- 
lowed. Pluralities and non-residence were strictly pro- 
hibited ; the use of the surplice and gown, preaching once, 
at least, on every Lord's day, catechising the children, ad- 
ministering the Eucharist at stated periods, and visiting 
the sick, were positively enjoined. 

And for the purpose of conducting divine service de- 
cently, it was also resolved that, for the present, the liturgy 
of the Church of England should be used, with such altera- 



182 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1785. 

tions only as had been rendered necessary by the American 
revolution. 

The attention of the convention was called also to an- 
other subject. It seems that soon after the recognition of 
American independence, application was made, by some 
young American gentlemen, to the Bishop of London for 
orders. Difficulties arose from the operation of certain 
English statutes, requiring of those ordained such engage- 
ments as Americans could not take consistently with the 
allegiance which they owed to their own country. Mr. 
Adams, who was then the American minister at the court 
of St. James, mentioned the case of these young Americans 
to the Danish minister,, and he stated the matter to his own 
court. The subject was referred to the theological faculty 
of Denmark, and the result was the expression of a wiHing- 
ness on the part of the church, in that country, to confer 
orders on candidates from this. This was communicated 
to Mr. Adams fr^m the Count de Rosencrone, privy coun- 
sellor and secretary of state to the King of Denmark ; and 
was by him communicated to the president of the American 
congress.* A copy of the Count de Rosencrone's letter 
was sent, by order of congress, to the executive authority 
in each of the states ; and at this convention, it was laid 
before the house, in a communication sent to it from the 
Governor of Virginia. The convention, however, while it 
entertained and expressed a proper sense of gratitude to 
the court and church of Denmark, was not inclined to take 
any steps, founded on the communication received from 
that quarter. To the adoption of this course, they were 
probably led by the wish, in a matter of much moment to 
the future harmony of the several independent Episcopal 
churches which had been or might be organized in the dif- 
ferent states of the confederacy, to act with prudent cau- 
tion, and after consultation with Episcopalians in other 

* Bishop White's Memoirs, 9, 10. 



1785.] IN vmoiNiA. 183 

parts of the union : and it is believed also that Virginia 
partook of the feeling which was general among Episco- 
palians throughout this country, that the consecration of 
American bishops, and obtaining of holy orders, were not 
to be sought out of England, until all prospect of obtaining 
them there should seem hopel ss.* 

The incipient steps had already been taken for a general 
organization of the church ; and this fact was known to the 
convention of Virginia, for it formed the basis of a part of 
her proceedings in this convention, which we are now to 
relate. 

On the 13ih of May, 1784, a few clergymen from the 
states of New-York, New-Jersey, and Pennsylvania as- 
sembled, by appointment, in Brunswick, New- Jersey, to 
consult upon measures for the renewal of a society, (exist- 
ing before the revolution, under charters of incorporation 
from the governors of the states above named,) the object 
of which was to raise a fund for the support of the widows 
and orphans of deceased clergymen. This was the princi- 
pal object of the meeting, at which were present nine clergy- 
men. These gentlemen invited certain laymen of influ- 
ence, who were attached to the church, and who happened 
to be in the town, to attend their meetings, and the princi- 
ples of an ecclesiastical union among the churches of the 
different states were discussed ; nothing, however, was 
done towards the accomplishment of such a union beyond 
an agreement entered into among the gentlemen present, 
to procure as general an attendance as they could of clergy 
and laity from the different states, at a meeting to be held 
on the sixih of the succeeding October. In that month, the 
contemplated meeting was held in New- York, when gentle- 
men appeared from Massachusetts, Connecticut,New- York, 
New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Vir- 

» Address of the General Convention of 1786, to the English prelates. 
— Journal of General Convention, 1786. 



184 rnOTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1785. 

ginia. From the last-named state the Rev. Dr. Griffith at- 
tended. This assemblage was purely voluntary; and those 
who were present did not profess to have authority from 
the churches in their respective states ; indeed, most of the 
clergy present received their appointments from their re- 
spective congregations, and the utmost extent of power 
possessed by any member of the body was to deliberate 
and propose.* 

The result of the deliberations of this body was the pro- 
posal of certain principles of ecclesiastical union, to be 
submitted to the churches in the several states, as fol- 
lows : — 

1. That there shall be a general convention of the Epis- 
copal church in the United States of America. 

2. That the Episcopal church in each state send depu- 
ties to the convention, consisting of clergy and laity 

3. That associated congregations, in two or more states, 
may send deputies jointly. 

4. That the said church shall maintain the doctrines of 
the Gospel, as now held by the Church of England ; and 
shall adhere to the liturgy of the said church, as far as shall 
be consistent with the American revolution, and the con- 
stitutions of the respective states. 

5. That in every state, where there shall be a bishop duly 
consecrated and settled, he shall be considered as a mem- 
ber of the convention, ex-officio. 

G. That the clergy and laity, assembled in convention, 
shall deliberate in one body, but shall vote separately: and 
the concurrence of both shall be necessary to give validity 
to every measure. 

7. That the first meeting of the convention shall be at 
Philadelphia, the Tuesday before the feast of St. Michael 
next.f 

On the first day of the meeting of the convention of Vir- 

* Bishop White's M«moir8, 66. t lb., 66, 66. 



1785.] IN VIRGINIA. IS$ 

ginia, these proposals were submitted, and after under- 
going much discussion, in a committee of the whole house, 
it was determined that deputies should be sent from the 
Virginia church to the proposed convention in Philadel- 
phia ; and that they should be furnished with such instruc- 
tions for their conduct as would leave the convention of 
Virginia at liberty to approve or disapprove of the pro- 
ceedings of the general convention.* 

As to the proposed principles of union, the convention, 
after the expression of a willingness to unite in a general 
ecclesiastical constitution with the members of the Protes- 
tant Episcopal church in the other states of America, ac- 
ceded to the first, second, third, and fifth of the articles pro- 
posed as the basis of union. As to the fourth article, the 
convention declined binding themselves upon the subject 
embraced in it, until it should have been revised in the ap- 
proaching general convention, and reported to the next 
Virginia convention ; and as to the sixth article, the con- 
vention refused to accede to it, but assented to the use of 
the mode of voting therein prescribed at the proposed gen- 
eral convention, reserving, however, a right to approve or 
disapprove of the pr ceedings of that body. Thus jealous5 
was the church in Vir^jmia under her new ora^anization to 
preserve the rights which belonged to her as a distinct and 
independent portion of the church of Christ. f 

The letter of instructions furnished to the reverend Dr. 
Griffith, the reverend Mr. M'Croskey, John Page and Wil- 
liam Lee, esquires, who were elected deputies to the gen- 
eral convention, was as follows: — 

" During your representation of the Protestant Episco- 
pal church in the general convention, we recommend to 
your observance the following sentiments concerning doc- 



* Joamal of the Convention of Virginia, f Ibid. 

1786. 

A. A 



l86 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [ITSS* 

trine and worship. We refer you, at the same time, for 
these and other objects of your mission, to our resolutions 
on the proceedings of the late convention at New- York. 

" Uniformity in doctrine and worship will unquestionably 
contribute to the prosperity of the Protestant Episcopal 
church ; but we earnestly wish that this may be pursued 
with liberality and moderation. The obstacles which stand 
in the way of union among Christian societies, are too 
often founded on matters of mere form. They are sur- 
mountable, therefore, by those who, breathing the spirit of 
Christianity, earnestly labour in this pious work. 

•' From the Holy Scriptures themselves, rather than the 
comments of men, must we learn the terms of salvation. 
Creeds, therefore, ought to be simple ; and we are not anx- 
ious to retain any other than that which is commonly called 
the Apostles' Creed. 

" Should a change in the liturgy be proposed, let it be 
made with caution; and in that case, let the alterations be 
few, and the style of prayer continue as agreeable as may 
be to the essential characteristics of our persuasion. 

" We will not now decide what ceremonies ought to be 
retained. We wish, however, that those which exist may 
be estimated according to their utility; and that such as 
may appear fit to be laid aside, may no longer be appen- 
dages of our church. 

o 

" We need only add, that we shall expect a report of 
your proceedings to be made to those whom we shall vest 
with authority to call a convention."* 

The deputies were also instructed to communicate to the 
general convention the contents of the Count de Rosen- 
crone's letter, and a standing committee was appointed, to 
which, among other powers, was confided that of calling a 
convention. 

* Journals of the Convention of 1T85. 



ITS 5.] IN viuGiMA. 187 

Having thus endeavoured to give an impulse to the 
church under its new organization, the convention ad- 
journed. The hopes enterttiined of its future prosperous 
progress were, however, but of sliort continuance, for its 
enemies were not disposed to permit it to pursue its course 
in peace. The Presbyterians and Baptists began to pre- 
pare and circulate for signatures memorials to the legisla- 
ture, which prayed, not merely for a repeal of the law in- 
corporating the church, hut, going beyond any former 
petition, asked also tlint tlie property of the church might he 
disposed of for the benefit of the public.'* 

While these measures were in progress, the month of 
September arrived, and the proposed general convention 
assembled at Christ Church in the city of Philadelphia: 
Virginia was represented by the Rev. Dr. Griffith and John 
Page, esquire. 

The most important subjects which came before this 
body were the preparation of a general ecclesiastical con- 
stitution, and the adaptation of the liturgy of the Church of 
England to the changes in the American church, occasioned 
by the revolution. The constitution adopted by the con- 
vention, and submitted by it to the church in the several 
states for ratification, consisted of eleven articles, and 
formed the basis of the present constitution of the Protes- 
tant Episcopal church in the United States. By the very 
terms of the instrument, however, it was not to become 
obligatory as the fundamental charter of the church at 
large, until it had received the approbation of the church 
in the several states. f 

The labours of the convention in the work of altering the 
liturgy, gave birth to the publication of what has ever since 
been known, in the American Episcopal church, by the 
name of " The Proposed Book." It was the English Book of 



* See Memorials on the Lcgisla- t Journal of General Convention 
tive Journals of 1786. of 1785. 



188 PROTESTANT EPlSCOPAIi CHURCH [178j. 

Common Prayer, altered, in the first place, to suit the change 
in our civil relations ; but the alterations were not confined 
to this particular. The convention availed itself of the 
favourable opportunity presented to revise the whole Book 
of Common Prayer as used in the Churcli of England, and 
in the review, saw fit to retain the Apostles' Creed only, and 
reduced the number of articles to twenty. The proposed 
book, however, was not set forth authoritatively by the 
body which prepared it, but was submitted to the church 
in the several states for approval. The particular history 
of this book belongs properly to a future volume of our 
work, and it is only necessary here, for the illustration of 
the progress of iho Virginia church, to allude to the twenty 
articles of religion as proposed to her for adoption. 

The first of these asserted the doctrine of the Holy Trin- 
ity, imbodying into one article the substance of the first 
five in the articles of the Church of England. 

The second was, "of the sufficiency of the Holy Scrip- 
tures for salvation," and was a transcript of the sixth arti- 
cle of the English church. 

The third, concerning " the Old and New Testament," 
was substantially the same as the seventh of the English 
church. 

. The fourth article asserted the truth of the Apostles' 
Creed. 

The fifth was concerning original sin, and expressed in 
other words the doctrine of the ninth article of the Anglican 
church. 

The sixth, " of free will," agreed with the English article 
on the same subject. 

, The seventh, on the important doctrine of justification, 
was a copy of the eleventh article of the parent church. 

The eighth, " of good works," agreed with the English 
article. 

The thirteenth and fourteenth of the Church of England 
were omitted ; and the ninth, •' of Christ alone without sin," 



1785.] IN VIRGINIA. 189 

did not differ materially from the article of the Church of 
England bearing the same title. 

The tenth, "of sin after baptism," set forth the doctrine 
on this subject held by the parent church. 

The eleventh, " on predestination," though not agreeing 
verbatim with the seventeenth article of the Church of Eng- 
land, yet cannot be construed to teach any other doctrine 
than that therein set forth. 

The twelfth set forth the words of the eighteenth article 
of the English church, "of obtaining eternal salvation only 
by the name of Christ." 

The nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first articles of 
the Church of England, concerning the church and its au- 
thority, together with the authority of general councils, 
were imbodied in the thirteenth article of the proposed 
book. 

Omitting entirely the article concerning purgatory, the 
fourteenth was, " of ministering in the congregation," and 
differed not from the English a i tide. 

The fifteenth, concernincj " the sacraments," was a copy 
of the first two clauses of the English article on that sub- 
ject. 

The sixteenth, "of baptism," and the seventeenth, " of 
the Lord's Supper," agreed with the English articles on 
those points. 

The eighteenth was a reprint of the first sentence only 
of the thirty-first article of the English church, on " the 
one oblation of Christ finished upon the cross." 

The nineteenth, " of consecration and ordination," adopted 
the English ordinal, with the exception of such oaths as 
were inconsistent with the change wrought by the Ameri- 
can revolution. 

The twentieth and last article repeated in substance the 
doctrine of the parent church on the subject " of a Christian 
man's oath."* 

• Proposed Book. 



190 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1786. 

It was also recommended by the convention to the sev- 
eral state conventions to elect suitable persons to be recom- 
mended to the prelates of England for consecration to the 
episcopate ; and a committee was appolnied to address the 
archbishops and bishops of England, requesting them to 
confer the episcopal character on such persons as might 
be elected.* 

The next convention of the church in Virginia was held 
in Riclimond, on the 24th of May, 1786, when the report 
of their representatives in the general convention, with a 
journal of the proceedings of that body, was laid before it. 
The first subject of consideration was the proposed consti- 
tution, which met, for the most part, with a ready adoption. 
The only articles on which doubts were entertained were 
those which related to the proposed book, and made its 
use obligatory upon the church in those states which should 
adopt the constitution ; these, however, after the liturgy 
and articles were received, were finally adopted ; and thus 
the Virginia church, which up to this time acknowledged 
no authority but that of her own convention, by her volun- 
tary act, as an organized independent church, expressed 
her willingness to surrender a portion of her rights, and 
come into union with the Protestant Episcopal church in 
the United States. 

The subject of the proposed book led to more discussion 
than did the constitution ; and it was found, as might have 
been expected, that there was more conflict of opinion to 
be reconciled. The articles were referred to a special 
committee, while the other parts of the book were subjected 
to revision in a committee of the whole house. After dis- 
cussions, which lasted for six days, the house came to a 
determination upon the articles, as follows: — 

The first, "of faith in the Holy Trinity," was adopted. 
The second, " of the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures 

* Journal of General Convention, 1785. 



1786.] IN vmaiNiA. 191 

for salvation," was amended, verbally, without material 
altenition of the sense, by saying of the books of Scrip- 
ture, " of whose authority there is no doubt in the church," 
instead of "was never any doubt," &c. And so much of 
the article as related to the apocryphal books was stricken 
out. 

The third, "of the Old and New Testament," was 
adopted. 

The fourth, "of the creed," was altered by an addition. 
It had been proposed by the general convention, as fol- 
lows : — " The creed, commonly called the Apostles' Creed," 
&c. : the additional words inserted were after the word 
creed — " the creed, as contained in the Book of Common 
Prayer recommended by the late general convention." The 
cause of this insertion will be found in the fact that the 
creed, as set forth by the convention, differed from that in 
the English liturgy in the omission of the words, "he de- 
scended into hell." 

The fifth and sixth articles, " of original sin" and " of 
free will," were adopted. 

The seventh, "of justification by faith," was slightly al- 
tered : instead of the expression, " we are justified by faith 
only," it was changed to, "u;e ai'e thus justified by faith." 

The eighth, ninth, and tenth, "of good works," "of 
Christ alone without sin," and "of sin after baptism," were 
adopted. 

The eleventh article, " of predestination," was stricken 
out. 

The twelfth, " of obtaining eternal salvation only by the 
name of Christ," 

The thirteenth, "of the church and its authority," and 

The fourteenth, "of ministering in the congregatioHr'* 
were adopted. 

The fifteenth, "of the sacraments," was altered by the 
entire omission of the first clause, descriptive of the nature 
of a sacrament. 



192 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1786. 

The sixteenth, "of baptism," declared that it was "a 
sign of regeneration, or new birth, whereby, as by an in- 
strument, they who receive," &c.: the words, "as by an 
instrument," were stricken out. 

In the seventeenth, "of the Lord's Supper," the second 
clause, relative to transubstantiation, was stricken out. 

The remaining articles, " of the one oblation of Christ 
upon the cross," " of consecration and ordination," and "of 
a Christian man's oath," were adopted. 

As to the residue of the book, the convention resolved 
that it should be approved, ratified, and used, with the single 
exception of the rubric before the communion service, 
which excluded from the sacrament evil livers. The vote 
on the adoption was taken by yeas and nays, when thirty- 
two were found to be in favour of the adoption of the bookj 
and twenty against it ; among the latter were four of the 
clergy.* 

Pursuant to the recommendation of the general conven- 
tion, it was also determined to elect a suitable person to be 
recommended to the English prelates for consecration to 
the episcopate in the church of Virginia ; and the choice of 
the convention fell on the Rev. Dr. Griffith, by a vote of 
thirty-two out of forty-nine.f 

This particularity of statement is called for by a sense of 
justice to the memory of Dr.Griffith. Ala subsequent period, 
this early instance of an election to the episcopate was re- 
ferred to by a portion of the church in another diocess,J as 
furnishing an important precedent. Dr. Griffith was never 
consecrated, from causes which will hereafter be stated, but 
of which, it is now only necessary to say that they touched 
not the purity of his Christian character, or the regularity 
of his election. In the diocess just referred to, however, a 
mistaken opinion was entertained by some that he never 

* Journal of Virginia Convention, t Maryland, on occasion of the 
1786. election of Dr. Kemp. 

f Ibid. 



1786.] IN VIRGINIA. 193 

obtained consecration, because he had been elected "in 
haste, and without due notice."* The records of the con- 
vention conclusively prove that these opinions were entirely 
without foundation in fact ; and those who knew Dr. Grif- 
fith, would have found an answer to the charge, had all 
other evidence been wanting, in the probity of a character 
too high-minded and honest to have sought or accepted 
an elevation obtained by disingenuous or dishonourable 
means.f 

At the same convention, two deputies were appointed to 
the next general convention, of whom Dr. Griffith was one, 
and they were furnished with the following letter of in- 
structions : — 

" You are instructed to move for such alterations in the 
Book of Common Prayer and articles of religion, as shall 
be agreed to by this convention, as fit to be proposed to the 
general convention. 

" We consider the Protestant Episcopal church in 
America as an incorporate society, and therefore unity 
in doctrine and worship, its characteristic; conformably to 
this, you will not carp at expression, nor carry your objec- 
tions to unessential points; guarding against schisms by 
all possible means, and giving our church every benefit and 
strength it can acquire from union. 

" It is superfluous to observe to you, that the sooner our 
church can have the benefit of episcopal superintendence, 
the nearer it will approach to perfection, and to recommend 
to your attention the aid of this necessary character." 

The state was divided into twenty-four districts, and a 
visiter was appointed for each, and the powers of the 
standing committee were specifically defined ; they were 
to correspond with the bishops in Europe, and with any 

* Bishop "White's Memoirs, 171,307. t £x reia<wne, Bishop Whit«. 

V B 



194 PnOTESTAWT EPISCOPAL CHtJRCH [178S. 

society of the rburch in the United States; to call meet- 
ings of the convention when necessary; to receive com- 
plaints against the clergy, and appoint courts of inquiry; 
to grant testimonials to all clergymen, not citizens of the 
state, who might apply for parishes, and, during the recess 
of conventions, to take care generally of the interests of the 
church. 

The efforts of the Presbyterians and Baptists to pro- 
cure memorials to be presented to the legislature for a 
repeal of the act incorporating the church, and for a 
distribution of its property for the public benefit, have 
already been recorded. The convention was not in- 
sensible to the danger to be apprehended from the deep- 
seated hostility of these two denominations, and therefore 
prepared a petition to the legislature to counteract the 
effect of their memorials, and recommended to the several 
parishes to prepare and present petitions of a similar char- 
acter. But it was all in vain ; in the next session of the 
General Assembly of Virginia, which succeeded the con- 
vention, these memorials and petitions were brought up for 
consideration; and on the fifth of December, 1786, the 
House of Delegates, among other resolutions, adopted the 
following : — 

'• That an act ought to be passed to empower all soci- 
eties formed for religious purposes to hold such property 
as they are now possessed of, to acquire property of any 
kind, or to dispose thereof in any manner that may be 
agreeable to said society. 

" That the act for incorporating the Episcopal church 
ought to be repealed."* 

On the ninth of January, 1787, the bill to carry into 
effect these resolutions was passed by the Senate, and thus 
became the law of Virginia.f 

• Journal of House of Delegates, f Journal of Senate, p. 91. 
p. 87. 



1786.] IN vinoiNiA.. 195f 

It will be seen that the whole object of the enemies of 
the church had not been atlained by this law; they had 
not succeeded in procuring a distribution of its property; 
they had but left it to commence its work anew in a con- 
dition similar to that in which it stood at the close of the 
revolution, with this ditTerence in its favour, that it had 
assumed an organized form and better knew its friends and 
its enemies. 

Before, however, we proceed to record the steps taken 
by the church of Virginia to remedy the evils resulting 
from the repeal of the act of incorporation, it becomes 
aecessary to the correct understanding of our future nar- 
rative, to withdraw, for a time, our attention from Virginia, 
and fix it upon the meetings of the general convention 
which were held in the year 1786. 

By the constitution prepared and submitted by the gen" 
eral convention of the previous year, it was provided that 
the first assemblage of that body under it should take 
place in Philadelphia on the third Tuesday of June, 1786, 
and afterward triennially, at such place as might be ap- 
pointed by the convention. Accordingly, on the twentieth 
of June, 1786, delegates appeared in Philadelphia from the 
churches in several of the states. Virginia was repre- 
sented by Dr. Griffith and the honourable Cyrus Griffin, 
the first named of whom was made president of the con- 
vention. 

It was recommended by this body " to the church in 
such of the states as were represented, not to receive to 
the pastoral charge within their respective limits, clergy- 
men professing canonical subjection to any bishop, other 
than those bishops who may be duly settled in the states 
represented in the convention ;" and inasmuch as a corres- 
pondence had been commenced with the English prelates 
on the subject of obtaining at their hands consecration of 
bishops for America, it was deemed respectful to the Eng- 
lish bench, also to recommend to the church in the several 



190 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1786. 

States not to admit any minister to a cure who might re- 
ceive ordinntion from a bishop residing in America, during 
the pendency of the application then before the bishops of 
England. 

The constitution which had previously been submitted 
to the church in the several states again came under re- 
view, and it v^'as found, as might reasonably have been anti- 
cipated, that very different instructions had been given by 
the several slate conventions to their respective delegates, 
both with respect to the constitution and "the proposed 
book." The wisdom of the excellent man who has so long 
and so worthily presided over the councils of the American 
Episcopal church, suggested the expedient of referring all 
the memorials and communications from the conventions 
of the several states to the first general convention which 
should assemble with sufficient powers to determine on the 
same ; and by a subsequent resolution it was recommended 
to the several state conventions to empower their deputies 
to the first general convention which might be held, after 
a bishop or bishops had been consecrated, to confirm and 
ratify a general constitution respecting both the doctrine 
and discipline of the church in the United States. 

Still, however, the proposed constitution was revised 
and amended. This seems to have been in some degree 
rendered necessary by intimations in the letters which had 
been received from the English bishops, objecting, though 
with great kindness, to some of its provisions; and it was 
of course desirable, as far as it could be done with propri- 
ety, to remove every obstacle to the accomplishment of the 
great object of obtaining the episcopate. 

The convention adjourned after a session of six days, to 
meet at Wilmington in the state of Delaware vi'hcn it 
should be necessary. Letters having been received from 
the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, enclosing an act 
of parliament authorizing the consecration of bishops for 
the Episcopal church in the United States, the general con- 



178G.] IN VIRGINIA. 197 

vention was called together, and assembled at Wilmington 
on the tenth of October, 1786. At this convention Vir- 
ginia was not represented. The communications from 
England formed of course the subject of consideration, and 
in accordance with the wishes therein expressed, an act 
was adopted by the convention, by which, among other 
things, it was determined to restore to the Apostles' Creed 
the words, " l:e descended int hell," a li to insert in the 
liturgy the Nicene Creed ; and a copy of the proceedings 
was directed to be transmitted to Virginia, accompanied 
with the expression of a hope that the church in that state 
would approve and adopt the same. The convention then 
proceeded to sign the testimonials of those who had been 
elected for consecration ; and though Virginia was unrepre- 
sented, yet as there was evidence of Dr. Griffith's election, 
his testimonials were prepared and signed also. 

We are now ready to resume our narrative of the 
progress of the church in Virginia. In the month of May, 
1787, the third convention of that church assembled, but 
not as before, under an act of incorporation. According to 
the view then entertained of the effect of the repeal of the 
act, the powers of government and discipline in the church 
had returned to the members at large ; and for the legiti- 
mate and proper exercise of those powers, the members of 
the church in the several parishes had been invited to elect 
two deputies from each parish, with full powers to form 
and establish such regulations for government, discipline, 
and worship, as they might deem best, and to provide 
means for the care and proper use of such property as 
yet remained to the church. The deputies thus elected 
formed the convention of 1787 ; and the diminished number 
of those who thus came together will justify the conjecture, 
that, disheartened by the persevering hostility and success 
of their opponents of other religious denominations, a large 
portion of the church had yielded to despondency, and 
looked upon further contest as hopeless. To supply the 



198 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1787. 

want of an act of incorporation, the convention passed an 
ordinance, as they termed it, by which they constituted the 
vestrymen, who iiad been elected under the law of incorpo- 
ration, trustees to hold the glebes and other property, and 
made provision for the triennial election of vestrymen 
thereafter ; they secured to such of the clergy as had 
glebes, the right of unmolested possession and enjoyment 
against the vestry, and gave to the convention full powers 
in all matters of doctrine, discipline, and worship. They 
re-enacted also, in substance, the body of canons which had 
been adopted in 1785 ; and for the purpose of providing a 
uniform mode of supporting the clergy, it was recom- 
mended to the churchwardens or trustees in the several 
parishes to convene the members of the church, and call 
upon them to determine the amount of compensation which 
they were willing to affjrd their clergyman, to make such 
amount permanent, and by their voluntary consent to em- 
power the vestry to receive annually the sum agreed upon 
from the several members of the church, in proportion to. 
the tithables which each one might possess. 

Having thus performed its duty, the convention next ap- 
pealed to the members of the church, and asked for the per- 
formance of theirs in the following affectionate terms : — 

** The address of the convention to the members of the 
Protestant Episcopal church in Virginia. 

" We, your pastors and lay deputies in convention as- 
sembled, have, by the favour of Divine Providence, and ac- 
cording to the privilege secured by the laws of our country, 
to every society of Christians of managing its own tem- 
poral concerns, and of regulating its discipline and wor- 
ship, instituted certain fundamental canons, made neces- 
sary by the repeal of the incorporating act, and have framed 
rules for the order, discipline, and worship of our church. 
We think, however, that to discharge fully the duty we 
owe on this occasion to God and to you, it is incumbent on 



1787.] IN VIRGINIA. 109 

us briefly to put you in mind of some things which remain 
for you to do, and to which, if you do not attend, all our 
labours here must be ineflectual. To render our church 
truly respectable, and our institutions of service to the 
cause of Christianity, a general and regular attendance on 
public worship, and the constant practice of piety and mo- 
rality, in all times and in all places, are indispensable. 
This is so obvious, that we trust we need only mention it 
to you. A moderate but adequate provision for your 
pastor, is another thing which must claim your attention 
and exertions. Both Scripture and common sense point out 
this to be your duty; and the omission of it involves con- 
sequences which no real Christian can think of without 
horror. The want of proper teachers must be the effect 
of this omission ; and ignorance and error, with all their 
train of evils, will follow. The very idea of being the 
authors of so great an injury to the temporal and eternal 
concerns of mankind must rouse and alarm you ; and we 
trust will excite your most serious endeavours to provide 
for the preservation of the pure doctrines of religion. The 
general affairs of the church also require from you a small 
contribution. We have been careful to frame our institu- 
tions of a nature as simple and unexpensive as possible, but 
we could not constitute a church which would call for no 
support from its members. Recommending these things 
to your attention, and you to the Almighty guidance and 
protection, we are your affectionate brethren in Christ." 

It will doubtless be remembered that in the convention 
of the preceding year. Dr. Griffith had been selected as the 
individual to be consecrated to the episcopate for Virginia. 
It had been originally contemplated that he should cross 
the Atlantic with the gentlemen who had been selected by 
the churches of New- York. and Pennsylvania. These gen- 
tlemen had visited England, accomplished the object of 
their mission, and returned to this country invested with 



200 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1787. 

episcopal authority; but Dr. Griffith did not accompany 
them ; poverty presented an obstacle which he was not 
able to surmount ; he was not supplied with money for the 
purpose, and the deranged state of his private concerns 
prevented him from undertaking the voyage.* The confi- 
dence of the church in Virginia was however still continued 
to him ; and the convention, at its session in 1787, directed 
the standing committee to solicit his consecration at the 
hands of Bishops Provost and White,f by whom the re- 
quest would have been granted, but for the obligation to 
the English bishops, to which they conceived themselves 
in honour pledged, not to admit any one to consecration 
until three bishops had been obtained from England. J 

Another measure, adopted by the convention of 1787, 
serves to indicate the deep sense entertained by the church 
of the necessity of making some provision for a supply of 
clergymen from among the native sons of the country. 
The former source of supply was now closed, they could 
henceforth look for but few clergymen from England, and 
an experience of which they were now reaping a portion 
of the bitter fruits, had probably induced them to think that 
Virginians would make the best ministers for Virginia. 
Poor therefore as they were, they notwithstanding resolved 
to recommend it to the parishes to provide funds for the 
education of two youths, from their early years, that they 
might be trained for the Christian ministry: the clergy 
were requested to preach annually a charity sermon in aid 
of the object ; and the selected youths were to be under the 
direction of the bishop and standing committee. The fact 
is recorded to the honour of the Virginia church, for it is 
believed, that after the revolution, this was the first step 
made by any portion of the church in this country in the 
important work of education for the ministry. The spirit 

» Bp. White's Memoirs, 171, note. % Bishop White's Memoirs, 172, 
t Journal of Virginia Conven- note, 
tion, 1787. 



1787.] IN VIRGINIA-. 201 

which prompted it is not dead in Virginia, and the future 
pages of ournurralivc will furnish an agreeable manifesta- 
tion of it in the history of the flourishing school of theology 
at Alexandria. 

The convention having thus provided for the affairs of 
the church at home, it only remains to relate their proceed- 
ings with reference to the church at large, as founded upon 
the transactions of the two general conventions of 1786, 
which have already been brought to our notice. The Vir- 
ginia church acquiesced in the propriety of the measure 
recommended by the general convention, that the church 
in the several states should not receive to a pastoral charge 
within their respective limits clergymen who professed 
canonical subjection to any bishop in any state or country, 
other than those bishops who might be duly settled in the 
states represented in the general convention ; but they de- 
clined a compliance with the recommendation not to admit 
a clergyman who might receive ordination from any bishop 
residing in America, during the pendency of the application 
for the episcopate to the English bishops. Bishop Seabury 
had now been consecrated, and some young gentlemen 
from the South had received ordination at his hands, others 
might also apply to him for orders, and among them might 
be Virginians ; and as the church of Virginia does not ap- 
pear to have ever entertained a doubt of the validity of 
Bishop Seabury's consecration, she was probably unwil- 
ling, in the dearth of clergymen, to preclude herself from 
the possibility of a partial supply from this source. This, 
however, is hazarded as a conjecture in the absence of cer- 
tainty. 

The opposition, which before had been manifested, to the 
introduction of the phrase, " he descended into hell," in the 
Apostle's Creed, still continued ; and the deputies appointed 
to the next general convention were instructed to move 
that the phrase should be expunged, and also to oppose the 
restoration to the liturgy of the Nicene Creed. 

c c 



202 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1787. 

As to the amended constitution of the church at large, 
Virginia assented to it substantially, declaring only that 
certain articles were for present emergencies, and there- 
fore should be considered by her as of a temporary char- 
acter merely; and she fully acquiesced in the propriety of 
conferring on the deputies to the first general convention 
which should meet, after a bishop or bishops had been con^ 
secrated, full power and authority to confirm and ratify a 
general constitution for the church in the United States. 

Discipline had been long and shamefully neglected in 
Virginia, and the want of it had contributed more than any 
other cause to prostrate the church : it is gratifying there- 
fore to meet with evidence which shows that under her 
new organization^ and when permitted, and in fact obliged, 
to act for herself, the church was not disposed to tolerate 
offending clergymen. Such evidence is furnished in the 
fact that the records of this convention show the return of 
proceedings of an examining court, constituted under the 
canon, to examine into the alleged delinquencies of an 
offending presbyter. We are thus furnished with one 
more attestation to a fact written in letters of light upon 
the page of ecclesiastical history — that in the church, per- 
secution from without is the parent of purification within ; 
and wron:^ as it undeniably is, yet, (in the exercise of that 
high prerogative, by which God brings good out of evil,) 
even persecution is made in his providence to minister to 
holy and blessed uses. 



1789.] IN YIRGINIA. 203 



CHAPTER XL 

1789-1794. 

Resignation of Dr. Griffith— Poverty of the Church— Death and Character 
of Dr. Griffith— Election of Dr. Madison to the Episcopate — Struggles 
concerning the Church Property— Condition of the Church at the time 
of Dr. Madison's Consecration — Bishop Madison's first Address — Cleri- 
cal Education — Canon compelling the Bishop to hold a Parish — Preva- 
lence of Infidelity and Fanaticism — Disastrous consequences to Religion 
after the War — Bishop Madison's Proposal of a Union among different 
Christian Denominations — His Plan of distributing Tracts — Revision of 
the Canons — Virginia refuses to give the House of Bishops an absolute 
Veto. 

Under its new organization, the church proceeded, with 
but little to interrupt the uniformity of its toilsome prog- 
ress ; and the first incident, worthy of record, with which 
we meet, is the resignation of the Rev. Dr. Griffith to the 
convention of 1789. Three years had now elapsed since 
his election: the convention had from year to year recom- 
mended to the several parishes, contributions by which a 
fund might be raised to defray the expenses consequent on 
obtaining the episcopate ; but whether it is to be attributed 
to indifference or poverty, or to both, so it was that funds 
had hitherto been wanting ; and this circumstance, in con- 
nection with the private affairs of the bishop elect, led him 
to communicate to the convention of 1789 his relinquish- 
ment of the appointment. The convention was not pre- 
pared to appoint another in his place, and directed their 
deputies to the general convention to inform that body of 
the relinquishment of Dr. Griffith. 



204 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1789. 

There can be no doubt thai the necessity which forced 
Dr. Griffith to the measure which he adopted, produced in 
its results a strong effect upon the convention. It was 
plainly seen that unless some remedy was applied to exist- 
ing evils, the church in Virginia was likely to languish for 
a long period of time under the want of episcopal super- 
vision. The following appeal therefore, more urgent than 
any which had preceded it, was sent abroad by the stand- 
ing committee, under the direction of the convention, the 
language of which exhibits no common degree of anxiety. 

" Brethren, 
"Convinced that the God whom we worship has fur- 
nished us, if we be not wanting to ourselves, with ample 
means for the preservation of that church of which we pro- 
fess to be members ; satisfied also that it claims a founda- 
tion the most truly apostolic, and that the proper support 
of it involves our dearest interests, both temporal and 
eternal ; it is with the sincerest regret that we contem- 
plate the situation to which it is now reduced. We trust 
that, you have also viewed, with sorrow, a situation so 
humiliating to a Christian society; and we ardently hope, 
that not unmindful of the blessings which the bountiful hand 
of Providence hath so liberally bestowed on us in common 
with other Christian societies, you now feel yourselves 
conscientiously bound to improve, with gratitude and in- 
dustry, those means which may tend to promote the pros- 
perity of our church, and thus render the most pure and 
rational mode of worship and instruction as extensively 
beneficial as possible. Under these impressions, brethren, 
we once more call your attention to the duty of completing 
the organization of our church. The superintendence and 
government of the episcopal office are indispensably neces- 
sary. Without them, our religious concerns, important as 
they are in the eyes of every serious member, we may add, 
of every worthy citizen, must rapidly decline. But the at- 



1789.] IN VIRGINIA. 205 

tainment of those benefits which result from the episcopal 
office, requires exertions, of a pecuniary nature, beyond the 
abilities of a few individuals. It is not just, or consistent 
with the principles of our religion, that the generous alone 
should feel those burdens which belong to the whole of 
the society, and which, if properly distributed, may be 
borne with ease. We therefore earnestly recommend to 
all the friends of the Protestant Episcopal church, that they 
do cheerfully assist in raising the sum necessary for defray- 
ing the expenses attendant on the consecration of a bishop. 
Arguments the most pressing might be urged, were they 
deemed necessary, to induce a ready compliance with this 
recommendation. But we hope, that as you regard the 
interests of religion, and of that church in particular of 
which you are members ; as you estimate the advantages 
which civil society must receive from a mode of worship 
conducted on principles the most rational ; as you vene- 
rate those instructions which so nearly concern your tem- 
poral and eternal happiness ; and as you would, with a 
parental tenderness, cherish the best means of improving 
the morals of the rising generation, no one will on this occa- 
sion refrain from casting his mite into the common treasury. 
Let it, we exhort you, brethren, be no longer said, that we, 
of all Christian societies, are alone inattentive to our re- 
ligious concerns. It is time to awake from an inattention, 
which, if continued, must prove fatal to the Protestant Epis- 
copal church. That the divine wisdom may influence and 
direct your exertions, at this important crisis of our church, 
is the fervent prayer of your affectionate brethen in Christ." 

That this appeal was not uncalled for is evident from the 
fact that the whole sum which the treasurer had received for 
the specific purpose of defraying the expenses consequent 
upon the consecration of a bishop, was but little more than 
twenty-eight pounds.* That the appeal was not made en- 

♦ Journal of 1789. 



206 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1789. 

tirely in vain, appears from the circumstance that the treas- 
urer's report, at a subsequent period, exhibited contributions 
to an amount nearly though not quite equal to the expenses 
of Bishop Madison's consecration; and herelet it be recorded 
with gratitude, (for it was a dark day for the church,) that 
God put it into the hearts of some, who were strangers 
and foreigners, to aid in establishing the episcopate in Vir- 
ginia.* 

But, to resume our narrative. It was but a short time 
after the relinquishment of his appointment, that Dr. Griffith 
found in the grave a release from the sorrows and the 
cares of life. He had been appointed by the Virginia con- 
vention of this year a representative to the general con- 
vention which met in Philadelphia, in July, 1789, and 
reached that city, but was never able to take his seat in 
the convention. He died at the house of the bishop of 
Pennsylvania, on the third of August, 1789, and the jour- 
nals of the general convention attest the respect which 
was entertained for his character. The senior clergyman 
of the deputation from each state attended his funeral as 
a pall-bearer, the residue of the convention attended as 
mourners, while his friend Bishop White, and Mr. An- 
drews, the lay deputy from Virginia, were chief mourners. 
Few are now living who knew Dr. Griffith, but of those 
few there is one whose attestation to his worth will, in the 
judgment of the church in America, supply the want of 
many witnesses. In the opinion of the venerable presiding 
bishop, the confidence which was reposed by the church 
of Virginia in Dr. Griffith was not misplaced : she had not, 
in his day, any clergyman within her limits who was more 
respected, and certainly there was none who had mani- 
fested more enlightened or persevering zeal in the im- 
portant work of reviving and organizing the prostrate 

* Mr. Graham Franks, a London merchant, gave five guineas " as a 
mark of his zeal for the Protestant Episcopal church in Virginia." — Journal 
of 1791. 



1790.] IN viRGiNrA. 207 

church. In his feelings and conduct he was thoroughly 
Annerican ; he thought the colonies wronged by the nnother 
country, and throughout the struggle for independence, he 
advocated their cause. He had deliberately cast in his lot 
with the great majority of his countrymen ; and in the 
alternations of storm and of sunshine, through which they 
passed in the achievement of their liberties, he was ever 
found true to his principles. It doubtless cost him, as it 
did many other good men, the forfeiture of old friendships 
and the severance of strong ties, but he felt that he was 
right, and had the firmness to persevere. There may have 
been many men more brilliant than Dr. Griffith, but he was 
practical and active, and when he died, the church lost a 
useful and a worthy man. 

Many subjects of importance came before the next con- 
vention, which assembled at Richmond in 1790. Of these, 
the first was the election of an individual to fill the episco- 
pate : the choice of the convention fell upon the Rev. James 
Madison, the president of William and Mary College. 
This gentleman was a native of Virginia, having been 
born in Rockingham county in the year 1749. He was 
educated at the seminary, over which he afterward pre- 
sided, and was distinguished for his attainments as a classi- 
cal scholar, and his eloquence as a preacher. He was also 
well read in the science of law, having made it his study 
under one of Virginia's most able jurists; and, in fact, he 
was admitted to the bar, but never became a practitioner. 
At all periods of his life, he was much devoted to scientific 
studies, and furnished several valuable papers to literary 
and philosophical publications. The habits of Bishop 
Madison were those of a student ; mild and benevolent in 
disposition, with simple yet courteous manners, he was 
much esteemed by the circle of his immediate friends.* 
His constitution was delicate ; and this circumstance prob- 

* Allen's Biographical DictionBfy. 



208 pnoTESTANT EPISCOPAL cnmcH [1790. 

ably made him less able to discharge the active duties of 
his station : this was the more unfortunate, as the times 
called for uncommon activity in the episcopal office. A 
glance at the map will show, that from the present extent 
of our diocesses, the situation of a bishop in the American 
Episcopal church is not a sinecure ; to perform his duties, 
he must traverse yearly hundreds, and, in some cases, 
thousands of miles. 

Obliged by canon to visit each church in his diocess at 
least once in three years, there is not one of the American 
bishops, not enfeebled by age or disease, who does not aim 
to do more than this. Many of them pay an annual visit 
to each parish ; and this course is felt by them to be essen- 
tial to the growth and prosperity of the church. If in these 
times such diligence be necessary, it is obvious that less 
would not suffice when the church was seeking to recover 
from a blow which had wellnigh destroyed her. 

The situation of the property which had belonged to the 
church before the revolution, still continued to excite atten- 
tion. The effi:jrts of other denominations to divest the church 
of the glebes, had never been discontinued ; each succes- 
sive legislature had been beset with petitions, in which the 
ground taken was, that, as the property had originally been 
purchased with funds which were furnished by the people, 
therefore it now belonged to the people, and should be ap- 
plied in some mode for the public benefit. From the year 
1777 up to 1799, the Baptists never failed annually to me- 
morialize the legislature ; and long after mutual jealousies 
among themselves had prevented cordial and united action 
on any other subject, they still continued unanimously to 
ask for a sale of the glebes: in fact, that was the only 
matter which the Baptist "general committee" ever car- 
ried on to a completion, after the year 1792.* The mem- 
bers of the church were not idle spectators of these cease- 

* Semple'e History, p. 60. 



1790.] IN VIRQINIA. 200 

less efforts. Dr. Madison particularly directed his atten- 
tion to the subject, and read to the convention an essay, 
(for which he received the thanks ot" that body,) asserting, 
on principles of law, the right of the church to the property 
in question.* It was probably this production of the bishop 
elect which led to the adoption, by the convention, of the 
following resolutions : — 

"Resolved, that it is the opinion of this convention, that 
the Protestant Episcopal church is the exclusive owner of 
the glebes, churches, and other property held by the Church 
of England in Virginia, at the commencement of the revo* 
lution. 

*' Resolved, that the principles upon which the said prop- 
erty is held, are those only by which the rights of properly 
are regulated. 

"Resolved, that the interference of the legislature in the 
sale of that property, or in the disposal of it to any other 
purpose than that for which it is now held, would be a vio- 
lation of the constitution."! 

The standing committee were also directed to take such 
metisures as might be deemed expedient to sustain the 
rights asserted in these resolutions; and that accurate in- 
formation of the condition of the property of the church 
might be obtained, the several vestries or parish trustees 
were desired to prepare a statement of the real and per- 
sonal property of their respective churches, and transmit 
the same to the next convention. J 

We have already alluded to the fact that the earliest 
legislation of the church, after the separation from Eng- 
land, had reference to the long neglected subject of disci- 
pline. The same anxiety which prompted this early action 
still continued. The plan of dividing the country into dis- 
tricts, and of appointing some respectable presbyter as 
visiter in each of these districts, had probably been found to 

* Journals of Oonvention, 1790. f Ibid. } Ibid. 

D D 



210 FROTESTAKT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1790. 

answer the purposes contemplated in its adoption ; for these 
officers were still retained, and the canons which regulated 
the trial of offending clergymen were amended and made 
more explicit in the convention of 1790, 

Soon after the adjournment of the convention, Dr. Madi- 
son proceeded to England ; and on the nineteenth of Sep- 
tember, 1790, he was consecrated in the chapel of the 
archiepiscopal palace at Lambeth, by the Archbishop of 
Canterbury and the Bishops of London and Rochester ; 
and thus was the Protestant Episcopal church in this coun- 
try furnished with three bishops of English consecration ; 
and upon the return of Dr. Madison, the Episcopal church 
of Virginia, after an existence of one hundred and eighty- 
four years, saw, for the first time, a bishop within her 
borders. 

But, favoured as it was in this particular, the prospects 
before it were still disheartening enough. As to the clergy, 
greatly reduced in numbers, most of them were bowed 
down with want, and felt all the misery of a poverty which 
was wellnigh hopeless. Dependant upon the voluntary 
aid which the people might see fit to afford, they were in 
truth pensioners upon their bounty ; that bounty, too, was 
in many cases necessarily limited ; for in many of the par- 
ishes the people were poor themselves, and had but little to 
bestow. Some, too, who might have been willing enough 
in former times to adhere to the establishment, were ready 
now to shrink from an avowal of attachment, when they 
found that the church was an object of dislike to a large 
and increasing body of their fellow-citizens, and that its 
support would subject its acknowledged members to some 
expense. Those of the clergy who were best paid were 
but poorly paid ; and the condition of all of them was 
humiliating enough. Again, when they looked around for 
those who were to supply their places, after death had 
removed them from the scene, they looked in vain. The 
inducements were small, indeed, which invited even the 



1790.] IN VIRGINIA. 211 

most pious young men to direct their attention to the min- 
istry ; for tiiey could not afford to starve, and no law; divine 
or human, required the sacrifice at their hands : but even 
had the number been large of those who were disposed to 
enter upon the sacred office, the means of affording them 
a competent clerical education were not to be had; and 
we are proud to say, that in the American Episcopal church, 
even in the darkest period of her history, an unlearned 
ministry could find few or no advocates. 

The clergy, too, were constrained from another cause to 
look forward to the event of their own removal wiih most 
melancholy anticipations. Many of them had families ; 
and they knew not whence their widows and their orphans 
were to derive even the necessaries of life: for even sup- 
posing them to be in possession of a glebe, (which was the 
best condition of the most favoured,) it could do no more 
than yield a supply to present necessities, and afforded 
no surplus which might be reserved for the wants of here- 
after. 

All these considerations and many more seem to have 
been present to the mind of Bishop JVIadison, when he met 
his clergy in convention for the first time after his conse- 
cration. In the charge which he addressed to them, enter- 
ing upon an examination of the causes which had con- 
tributed to the depression of the church, he does not hesi- 
tate, with great boldness, to ascribe its unhappy condition 
to the clergy themselves. " I do not think," says he, " that 
I should discharge my duty in the manner which my con- 
science and my inclination dictate, were I not to speak 
upon this occasion with all that plainness and freedom 
which the importance of the subject demands. I know 
that our church is blessed with many truly pious and zeal- 
ous pastors, — pastors from whose example the greatest ad- 
vantage may be derived by all of us ; but at the same time 
1 fear there is too much reason to apprehend that the great 
dereliction sustained by our church hath arisen, in no small 



S12 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [179L 

degree, from the want of thsit fervent. Christian zeal, which 
such examples ought more generally to have inspired. 
Hath the sacred fire committed to our trust been every- 
where and at all times cherished by us, with that watchful 
and zealous attention which so holy a deposit required ? 
Had it been thus cherished, might not that ancient flame 
which once animated and enlightened the members of our 
church, still have diffused its warmth? instead of indiffer- 
ence to our church, might we not now have beheld many 
of those members who have forsaken her, still ardent and 
zealous in her support? Let us then be renewed,! entreat 
you, in the spirit of our vocation, in that holy, fervent zeal, 
which should be the distinguishing characteristic of every 
minister of the Gospel. But how is that zeal to be dis- 
played ? I answer, by our conversation and our exaynple. 
Be thou an example of the believers, inword, in conversation, 
in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. We are to watch 
for the souls of others, as they that are to give an account. 
If such be the nature, such the functions of our sacred em- 
bassy, what minister, what priest, what bishop is there who 
will not with pious awe reflect most seriously upon the 
momentous charge committed to him ; and while he pro- 
foundly meditates upon the extent of his duties, ardently 
supplicate at the throne of grace the renewal of that fer- 
vent zeal, without which the great ends of his ministry can 
never be accomplished ?"* 

This is but a small part of the earnest exhortation ad- 
dressed by the bishop to his clergy. To the laity also he 
appealed, and asked their co-operation in reviving the 
church. After placing before them the value, and, indeed, 
indispensable necessity of a well-informed, pious, standing 
ministry to the promotion of the peace of society, to the 
religious instruction of the rising generation, to the admin- 
istration of the means of grace in the sacraments of the 

* Journal of Convention, 1791. 



1791.] IN VIRGINIA. 213 

church, and to the continuance of the divinely instituted 
medium of good in the preaching of the Gospel ; he recom- 
mended thai each member of the church should consider it 
his duty "to contribute in the proportion which the law for- 
merly prescribed."* 

The convention was not unmindful of the suggestions of 
the bishop. A resolution was adopted, by which it was 
declared to be •' the duty of every member of the Protes- 
tant Episcopal church to contribute towards a decent and 
comfortable support of their bishop and other pastors, and 
to defray the necessary expenses of their church." 

In the absence of a bishop, it was impossible to correct 
the want of discipline which had been so long and sorely 
felt; but now that difficulty no longer remained ; accord- 
ingly, the subject was brought before the convention in the 
episcopal charge. The bishop, approving most cordially of 
the visitatorial system, which had now been for some years 
in operation, enjoined it as an indispensable duty upon the 
several visiters faithfully to fulfil the purposes of their ap- 
pointment ; as, without godly discipline and the excision 
of unworthy members, it would be impossible to resuscitate 
the church. 

A portion of the clergy, assembled at a visitatorial meet- 
ing in one of the districts, had been so much impressed with 
the unfavourable prospect of a future supply of clergymen, 
that the subject had formed among them a topic of anxious 
discussion. At the meeting of the convention, they pre- 
sented the result of their deliberations to that body ; and 
this gave rise to certain resolutions, and a canon, whereby 
it was provided, that as there were no divinity schools at 
present in the church, the instruction of candidates might 
very properly be made part of the business of each pres- 
bytery within its own bounds ; and the members of the 
several presbyteries were required, instead of meeting 

* Journal of Convention, 1791. 



214 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1791. 

annually on a certain day, to assemble as often as any stu- 
dent of divinity should make application, to examine the 
applicant, and, if his literary qualifications satisfied the 
requisitions of the canon, to assign him a theme or text on 
which to prepare a discourse to be delivered before them 
on some future day. 

To remove the solicitude, to which we have alluded, on 
the subject of a support for the widows and orphans of 
deceased clergymen, it was resolved by the convention 
that a society, having for its object their relief, was highly 
expedient. 

There is to be found among the canons of the conven- 
tion of 1791, one which very strongly indicates that a sus- 
picious apprehension of bishops still lingered in the minds 
of many Episcopalians: it was doubtless a remnant of old 
political prejudices, and so far as it begat a watchful jeal- 
ousy against the abuse of power in the prelacy, it was 
wholesome in its eflects. The convention declared the 
peculiar powers which belonged to a bishop, according to 
apostolic institution, to consist simply in the powers of 
ordination and confirmation, supervision of the conduct of 
the clergy, and precedence in ecclesiastical assemblies ; 
and they accordingly enacted that the episcopal office 
should be understood to imply no other rights than those 
just expressed ; and that every bishop, after his consecra- 
tion, should hold a parish, and perform the duties of a 
parish minister, when not occupied in the discharge of 
episcopal duties.* This last provision, it may be remarked, 
was needless; for that strong master, 7ieces5z7y, has always 
obliged, and must long continue to oblige, most of the 
American bishops to be laborious parish priests ; the 
church needs clergymen too much to dispense with the 
services of any who are able to perform the duties which 
belong to a parish minister. Congregations are multiplied 

* Canon xi. — Convention Journal, 1791. 



1791.] IN VIRGINIA. 215 

faster than clergymen are ; these must be supplied with the 
ministrations of the Gospel ; and there has never yet been 
a bishop among us who felt at liberty to withhold himself 
from the duties of a parish, because of his official station 
and cares. It is true that, in our extensive diocesses, there 
is enough, and sometimes more than enough, to occupy 
the time of the individual who has " the care of all the 
churches ;" and as a measure of policy, it would be well 
were all our bishops free from parish duties; but the time 
must be far distant in which such an event is possible ; for in 
many of our diocesses, the bishop's sole income is his salary 
as rector of a parish. Virginia has long since felt the evil 
of that very connection with a congregation which is en- 
joined in this canon as obligatory on her bishop ; but Vir- 
ginia has never been able to remedy it ; both her bishops 
are now, and always have been, in charge of parishes. 

The year 1792 presents but little change in the cir- 
cumstances of the church, and is remarkable for little 
more than the fact, that it witnessed the first episcopal 
visitation ever made in Virginia. Upon his visit, the bishop 
found the aspect of affairs better than he seems to have 
anticipated. The clergy, though still wanting a decent 
maintenance, were, for the most part, exemplary and 
diligent in the discharge of their sacred functions. The 
ecclesiastical legislation of this year, however, justifies the 
inference that cause of complaint existed against some of 
the clergy. The canon, making provision for the trial of 
an offending minister, underwent revision, and a necessity 
for its use probably led to that revision. The zeal and 
piety of the laity had not become entirely extinct. The 
bishop found on his visitation that the congregations were 
in general numerous, and attentive to the forms of worship 
prescribed by the church. 

It is also probable that about this time some difficulties 
had arisen from the interference of one clergyman with the 
proper pastoral duties of another. In the unsettled con- 



216 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1792. 

dition of the church, and with the pressure of absolute 
want to prompt some of the clergy, they were at times in- 
duced to intrude into some church within the parish of a 
brother clergyman. This was of course a fruitful source 
of contention, and it was remedied by a canon which pro- 
hibited the clergy from officiating within a parish having a 
rector, without his permission. The right of presentation, 
it will be remembered, had always heretofore belonged to 
the vestries; certainly by statute, and, as they contended, 
by the common law also.* In 1792, this right was ex- 
pressly recognised, and continued to the vestries by the 
canon just alluded to ; which also gave to the vestry the 
exclusive right of electing the minister.f 

We have already stated that the bishop in his late visita- 
tion had found the condition of the church better than he 
anticipated ; he had also seen distinctly the great difficul- 
ties which impeded its progress; and it is necessary to 
dwell upon these with some particularity. The two great 
obstacles which retarded the growth of the church now, 
were infidelity and fanaticism ; and those acquainted with 
human nature will not be surprised at the remark, that the 
last was very often the parent of the first. 

As to infidelity, there never was, perhaps, a period in the 
history of Virginia when it was more prevalent than at 
this time. How far it had been made fashionable, as an 
evidence of manly spirit and intellectual independence, by 
the example of some who filled the highest offices in the 
state, it is impossible to say ; but there is no doubt that 
many of those who value names more than things, and fol- 
low men rather than principles, very quietly dispensed with 
the labour of thought, and submitted to take their infidel 
opinions upon trust, at the dictation of those who were ele- 
vated in society. It is an entire mistake to suppose that 

* Vide ante, p. 54. t Journals of the Convention, 1792. 



1793.] IN VIRGINIA. 217 

the overthrow of the former state of things had led to the 
immediate introduction of more serious and heartfelt re» 
ligion among the people. On this subject there is evidence 
derived from more than a single source. One who lived 
both under the old and new condition of religious affairs in 
Virginia, has left behind him a striking attestation on this 
subject. "It must be apparent to every man," says he, 
" that religion was more respected and revered, and had a 
greater influence on the manners of men in general, while 
the church had the countenance of the state, than it has 
now."* And with no partial attempt to conceal the want 
of religious feeling in the members of the communion to 
which he belonged ; but depicting in mournful terms the 
sad depression of the Episcopal church, he thus proceeds : — • 
"Nor do I find the aspect of religious affairs much more 
encouraging in other societies or denominations. There 
is an awful falling off' on every hand : true, they have 
larger congregations on Sunday than our ministers have ; 
and in their public assemblies, they may frequently return 
thanks to Heaven for their religious liberty, equality, and 
privileges, &c. But I fear they are so far from making 
good use of these blessings, and duly availing themselves 
of their privileges, that many will have an accumulated 
account to render for misimprovements. By a letter from 
a pious Presbyterian minister, I learn that religion is at a 
low ebb among them. The Baptists, I suppose, are equally 
declining. I seldom hear anything about them. The Meth- 
odists are splitting and falling to pieccs.'*f 

Lest, however, this should be suspected as the testimony 
of a prejudiced witness, let it find confirmation in the 
honest confession of others. The historian of the Baptists 
informs us that " the war, though very propitious to the 
liberty of the Baptists, had an opposite effect upon the life 
of religion among them. From whatever cause, certain it 

• Life of Rev. Devereux Jarratt, 155. t Ibid. 180. 

E E 



218 PnOTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [17&3. 

is that they siifTered a verv wintry season. With some 
few exceptions, llie declension was general throughout the 
state. The love of nnany waxed cold. Some of the watch- 
men fell ; others stumbled ; and many slumbered at their 
posts. Iniquity greatly abounded."* 

It is true that all denominations afterward improved ; 
but durint: the continuance of such a state of things as these 
extracts describe, it is not wonderful that deism reaped an 
abundant harvest. It is not our purpose to assign causes 
for the general declension of religion; it may, however, be 
remarked that fanaticism was not the least efficient. Igno- 
rance undertook the work of instruction : enthusiasts of 
warm imaginations, strong passions, and no judgment 
stood up to teach; they would dream dreams and see 
visions ; but, unfortunately, when they had a dream, they 
did not " tell it as a dream ;" their fancied visions were in- 
spiration if the silly were deceived; the more thoughtful 
disgusted ; and Christianity suffered. 

Ignorance, which supposes itself to be inspired, must be 
conceited and dogmatical, and is always ready to " com- 
pass sea and land to make one proselyte :" the industrious 
zeal, therefore, which was employed in disseminating er- 
rors, rendered the extirpation of those errors the more dif- 
ficult. In a survey of the circumstances to which we have 
alluded, it seems to have been impressed upon the mind of 
Bishop Madison, that no very effectual check could be 
offered to the combined evils of infidelity and fanaticism, 
without more of unity among those who, while they dif- 
fered on some points, were yet of the same opinion on most 
of the great truths of the Christian faith. He had very 
much at heart a plan which has since occupied the thoughts, 
and called forth the prayers of many good men ; and which 
they are reluctant to believe is too visionary for accom- 

* Semple's History of Virginia t Bishop Madison's Address. — 
Baptists, pp. 36, 36. Convention of 1T93. 



1793.] IN VIRGINIA. 210 

plishment. Bishop Mailison desired to make an effort to 
uuile all sincere Christians into one church. He was per- 
fectly aware that it required an enlarged Cliristiian spiiit to 
effect such an object. "There is no one," says he, "but 
must cordially wish for such a union, provided it did not 
require a sacrifice of those points which are deemed essen- 
tials by our church; from them we have not the power to 
retreat ; but in such matters as are subject to human altera- 
tion, if by a candid discussion they could be found capable 
of being so modified, as to remove the objections of any 
sect of Christians, who maybe actuated by the same catho- 
lic spirit, and thereby effect a union ; in that case we should 
surely have reason to rejoice, not only in the event, but 
also in being the first to set an example to Christians, which 
it is the duty of all to follow; and in convincing them that 
there is infinitely more religion in not contending, than in 
those things about which they contend."* 

Christians in his day were not prepared to make an 
effort to bring about such a union, and, yielding to the 
judgments of those whom he respected, the bishop sub- 
mitted no proposition on the subject to the convention. It 
is probable, that on the first statement of such a proposi- 
tion, a majority of Christians at this day would pronounce 
such a union to be impossible. Perhaps, however, we call 
impossible that, which, upon trial, would prove to be very 
diflicult merely. Great and almost incredible results have 
followed Christian effort, carried out in other directions ; 
and it must be confessed that the consequences of such 
effort have far surpassed the most sanguine anticipations. 
No man can certainly say that the effort for union is abso- 
lutely hopeless, because it has never yet been fairly tried ; 
but it may with certainty be said that if it ever is tried, 
Chrisiiiin men must come to the work with perfect single- 
ness of heart, and it must be prosecuted in the faith and 
fear of God alone. 

* Bishop Madujon's AddreBp to Convention of 1793. 



220 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHmCH [1793. 

The subjects which invited the attention of il e conven- 
tion of 1793, were deemed of so much importance by the 
bishop, that he addressed a circular letter to the several 
visiters, urging, through them, a general attendance of the 
clergy. The most important business of the session was 
an entire revision of the canons ; but, before proceeding to 
consider them, it is due to Bishop Madison here to record 
his recommendation of the distribution of religious tracts 
as a means of doing good, at a time when, it is believed, 
there was no tract society known in this country. 

The bishop, in his address, proposed that the clergy then 
assembled, should specify such pamphlets as appeared 
most useful for doctrinal information, that a sufficient num- 
ber of copies should be obtained for the congregations gen- 
erally, and that through the clergy the people should be 
supplied. But he wished also that something mi>re should 
be done than to furnish tracts explanatory of the institu- 
tions of the church merely. " Devotional tracts," says he, 
"such as would inspire and keep alive the spirit of a warm 
but rational piety, are greatly wanted. Let, then, such of 
this nature also be dispersed, as the ministry may approve 
and recommend to their congregations. They would not 
only be thus called to active piety, but secured against the 
impressions which the appearance of greater devotion and 
zeal in other sects must always make upon the minds of the 
religious. Many, educated in the bosom of our church, 
desert it, not solely from a conviction of errors in doctrine, 
but because the great bulk of its members seem indifferent 
to religious exercises. Another society is sought for, in 
which the pious are countenanced and stimulated by re- 
ciprocal example. Why can we not introduce an equal 
attention to religious duties among the members of our 
own church? a conduct equally guarded and pious? It 
must be done, or we shall have only the semblance of reli- 
gion among us. We have approached too nearly to that 
verge already." 



1793.] IN VIRGINIA. 221 

. He urged it also upon the clergy as an indispensable 
duty to be diligent in visiting the families in their respective 
cures, to labour for the general introduction of the custom 
of family prayers, and to catechise the children. 

The most important provisions of the canons were as 
follows : — 

The minister, churchwardens, and vestrymen of each 
parish, were made trustees to hold the church property 
for the benefit of the Protestant Episcopal church ; and the 
right of appointing a minister and of presentation was 
continued in the vestries. 

The convention had conferred upon it the sole power of 
regulating " all the religious concerns" of the church, " its 
doctrines, discipline, and worship ;" but not so as to affect 
" any powers exclusively vested in the general conven- 
tion." 

The clergy were divided into i resbyteries of not less 
than three nor more than ten members, with a visiter at 
their head ; these presbyteries were required to meet an- 
nually in April, and at any other time when it might be 
necessary. The convention appointed the visiters, who 
were required once a year to visit each parish in their 
respective districts, and particularly to inspect the morals 
and conduct of the clergy, privately to admonish or re- 
prove offenders among them, observe violations of the 
canons, and to report annually to the bishop. The presby- 
teries were required also to take the oversight of all candi- 
dates for orders in their districts, to direct their studies, 
and to examine them. 

The canon compelling the bishop to take the care of a 
parish was repealed, and it was now declared merely that 
he might do so if he wished. All accusations of the 
bishop were to be made by three respectable persons on 
oath. 

Catechising, and the use of the surplice, were enjoined ; 
and ministers were permitted to " encourage people to as- 



222 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CUURCH [1793. 

semble together in small societies at convenient times, for 
their edification ;" and might " visit, superintend, and in- 
struct such societies at their meetings," provided it was not 
done to the encouragement of idleness, or the injury of 
private families. 

No person could be a minister who had not episcopal 
ordination, and did not take an oath of allegiance to the 
commonwealth of Virginia, and promise conformity to the 
doctrines, discipline, and worship of the Protestant Epis- 
copal church in the United States, and obedience to the 
orders and canons of the cliurch in Virginia. He was 
bound also to declare in writing, that he held his appoint- 
ment subject to removal according to the canons of Vir- 
ginia. 

Pluralities were forbidden ; and no minister could leave 
his charge to be absent more than a month, without permis- 
sion of the vestry. When necessary, the vestry 'might 
allow of non-residence in the minister. 

District courts, composed of the clergy of the district, 
with one vestryman from each parish appointed by their 
respective vestries, were established for examining into 
and deciding upon complaints exhibited against ministers; 
and, if necessary, making arrangements for a trial accord- 
ing to certain prescribed rules. 

There was but one other subject acted upon by this con- 
vention which calls for notice at our hands. The general 
convention, at its meeting in September, 1792, directed 
that the several diocesan conventions should be informed 
that, at the next meeting of the general convention, the 
propriety of giving to the House of Bishops a full negative 
on the proceedings of the House of Clerical and Lay 
Delegates, would be considered and determined.* The 
convention of Virginia, by a unanimous vote, directed 
their representatives to express on their parts the «' highest 

* Journals of General Convention of 1792. 



nOS.] IN VIRGINIA. 223 

disapprobation" of investing the House of Bishops with any 
such negative. They also instructed them to obtain, if 
possible, a repeal of a canon just passed by the general 
convention, by which no clergyman was permitted to offi- 
ciate in the parochial cure of another clergyman, without 
express permission for that purpose obtained from the 
incumbent, or, in his absence, from the churchwardens and 
vestrymen.* The provisions of this law so closely resem- 
ble those of a canon of Virginia, passed on this subject 
only the year before,f but not incorporated in the revision 
made at this session, of which we have already spoken, 
that the only reasonable mode of accounting for this oppo- 
sition to what certainly was a wholesome and necessary 
provision, seems to be, that the law had been found in Vir- 
ginia (where a parish sometimes contained several church 
edifices, all of which could not, from a want of clergymen, 
be supplied,) to operate injuriously ; and hence its omission 
in the revised canons, and the opposition of Virginia to its 
incorporation in the general canons. 

* Journals ofVirginia Convention, 1793. t Vide ante, p. 212. ' 



224 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1794. 



CHAPTER XII. 

1794-1804. 

Injurious Effects upon Religion, arising from Disputes about the Church 
Property — Arguments used for and against a sale of the Glebes — Canon 
against the Clergy's taking Offices in the Militia — Appeal to Law — 
Churchmen driven to despair — Law of 1802 for sale of Glebes — Effect of 
Bale of Glebes in benefiting the Public — Desecration of the Sacred Ves- 
sels by Debauchees — The Manchester Case — Consequence to the Church 
of the Death of the President of Court of Appeals — Constitutionality of 
Law for the sale of Glebes yet undetermined. 

The history of the church, for several years to come, 
presents a picture but little different from that which the 
reader has seen exhibited in the previous pages. The 
bishop, upon his slender pittance of one hundred pounds, 
still continued to visit the parishes and make his annual re- 
ports, which became more and more disheartening; the 
number of clergy was gradually diminishing by death ; few 
or none came in to supply their places ; the church lan- 
guished ; while her opponents, increasing in numbers and 
influence, never ceased to carry on the warfare against 
her, and to exert themselves to deprive her of her property 
in the glebes. The Baptists, as heretofore, were most 
active in this business; and here we may properly pause 
in our narrative, to contemplate the injurious effects of their 
opposition upon the cause of Christianity, and to review 
the grounds on which they urged, and Episcopalians re- 
sisted, the sale of the glebes. 

We have already seen that the condition of religion was 
greatly depressed in Virginia ; truth compels us to say 



1794.] IN VIRGINIA. 225 

that the depression must in some degree be attributed to 
Christians themselves; it was in part owing to the con- 
troversies respecting the property of the church. There 
is always to be found in society a class ready to avail itself 
of any excuse for its want of personal holiness. In the 
temper and feelings which were exhibited in the contest in 
Virginia, between churchmen and their opponents, the ene* 
mies of religion readily found the excuse which they de- 
sired. It is not meant to insinuate, that the disputants in 
Virginia were more violent, or worse than others would 
have been elsewhere, under similar circumstances. But 
good men (and it is hoped there were such on both sides in 
this dispute) may, and do often betray those infirmities of 
human nature which they are, afterward, themselves the 
first most deeply to lament. Their subsequent repentance 
meets perhaps no eye but that of God ; while the evils which 
flow from their exhibition of angry passions and unchristian 
feelings remain to furnish multitudes with an argument where- 
with to appease a reproving conscience, and fortify them- 
selves in their wickedness. It would be uncandid to conceal 
the fact, that the dispute concerning the church property in 
Virginia was one which called forth, on both sides, much bit- 
terness of feeling and intemperance of language. It is best 
that such language should be forgotten ; it is more pleasant 
to quote the words of an aged minister of the church who 
sought to allay strife. " This dispute is too nearly con- 
nected with relijiion, not to partake of much of that ani- 
mosity and rancour which are the unhappy effects of re- 
ligious controversy. How different is this from the mild 
spirit of that religion which breathes unanimity, forgive- 
ness, meekness, and peace ! When we ourselves make it 
appear by our conduct, that Christianity has so little power 
over our hearts, can it be supposed that ever we will recom- 
mend it to the esteem of others ? The infidel will never 
believe us ; and the libertine will get confirmed in his vi- 

FP 



226 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1794 

cious practices. Alas t we pull down with our own hands 
that church of Christ which we ought to build up and de- 
fend. We fill the minds of the community, moreover, with 
* wrath, hatred, emulations, envyings, and strife.' How 
long shall it be before the doctrines of the Son of God have 
full influence on the minds of men 1 How long shall this 
land be filled with contention ! When shall we fully prize 
the blessings which we enjoy ! We might now sit, every 
man at peace ♦ under his own vine,' and under that fair 
tree of liberty which we planted. But, alas I the canker 
worm of jealousy feeds on its foliage ; the whirlwinds of 
discord threaten to root it out for ever."* 

The increase of irreligion was thus one of the great evils 
which resulted from this contest. 

Another evil was of a political nature. The question, as 
to the sale of the glebes, was one of right simply ; circum- 
stances unavoidably made it in some degree a question of 
party. It was desirable that the individuals who were to 
pass upon the question, the members of the legislature, should 
know no man or body of men in the transaction : the con- 
stitution and the law were the proper arbiters : the integ- 
rity of that constitution and law was endangered by every 
temptation to gratify any body of men in their interpreta- 
tion: now, when the members of the legislature found 
themselves beset annually by petitions, asking that the 
church might be deprived of the property which she held ; 
when these petitions were numerously signed ; and when 
those who signed them were the electors by whom the 
legislators were placed in the seat of judgment, it must be 
confessed that there was some temptation to yield to the 
wishes of the petitioners. But, unless the petitioners were 
unquestionably right on the points of law involved, to yield 
was wrong, no matter by what numbers the application 

* Manuscript argument on the lale of the glebes, by one of the old Vir» 
g'mia clergy, in the possession of the author. 



l'^94.] IN VIRGINIA* sat 

was made ; there was no pretence that the multitude who 
petitioned were the best judges of a disputed matter in the 
science of jurisprudence ; and as they might be mistaken, 
the justice of the case was in danger of being sacrificed to 
the demands of the multitude. It was not an instance of 
the expression of popular opinion on a point o{ expediency, 
(to which the legislature might perhaps have listened with 
propriety,) but it was on a subject of right which rested on 
fixed and unalterable rules. It must therefore be obvious, 
that after having once expressed a wish to have the ques- 
tion fairly examined, a perpetual succession of petitions, 
dictating in effect the decision to be made, could only serve 
to increase the risk of having that decision finally wrong* 
As to the arguments by which a sale of the glebes was 
urged upon the legislature, the principal were as follows :— 

1. That most of the glebe lands were originally pur- 
chased with money levied upon the people at large, and 
that, consequently, whenever a majority of the people de- 
sired a sale of the lands, they should be sold, and the 
money applied to such other use as might seem best to 
them. 

2. That if the church was permitted to retain the prop- 
erty, a certain pre-eminence and superiority was thereby 
conferred, which was odious in a republic, and inconsistent 
with its institutions. 

3. That the fourth article of the declaration of rights of 
Virginia asserted, "that no man or set of men are en- 
titled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges 
from the community, but in consideration of public ser- 
vices ;" but the enjoyment of the glebes did confer upon 
the church " exclusive emoluments from the community," 
and was consequently unconstitutional. 

To the first of these arguments, it was answered that 
some of the glebes were a private donation ; that those 
which were purchased, were bought many years before^ — 



228 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH 1794. 

some of them more than a century; and that the " people," 
with whose money the purchase was made, were not dis- 
senters, for there were few or none in the colony at that 
day ; but were members of the establishment, and perfectly 
content thai their money should be thus applied; that 
having been thus applied, the "people" had voluntarily 
divested themselves of it, and their descendants could not 
now take it back, any more than they could other moneys 
of which their ancestors had seen fit willingly to deprive 
themselves : it was also answered, that upon this principle, 
of a restoration to the " people" of money which the " peo- 
ple" once gave, there should obviously be returned no 
more than such a part as would be proportionate to the 
original number of dissenters among the people who pur- 
chased ; for if those who now asked for a sale of the 
glebes had, from conscientious motives, dissented from the 
faith of their fathers, they should thence learn that their 
fathers also had consciences ; and with no justice or pro- 
priety could they seek to undo what their ancestors had 
done with a good conscience. But as to dissenters among 
the original purchasers, there were either none at all, or at 
best the number was very limited, and it was certain that 
there were no Baptists among them. 

It was also asserted to be very questionable, whether, 
considering the great emigrations to the western country 
and to other states, there was one-third of the inhabitants 
remaining, whose ancestors had contributed to purchase a 
glebe ; that if they were sold for the benefit of that third, 
it would be impossible to ascertain to whom the proceeds 
should be paid. If it should be urged that "the country" 
first purchased, and that now they should be given back to 
" the country," then it was to be remembered that that 
country by a solemn act had declared that "in all time 
coming" they should not be taken from the church ; and 
that if it would be unrighteous in an individual to take back 



1794.] IN VIRGINIA. 229 

by mere force that which he had once bestowed upon an- 
other, it required no small skill in casuistry to prove that 
similar conduct was righteous in a state. 

As to the second argument, it was said in reply, that the 
question of permitting the church to retain the property 
was one of right, founded on law, which republics were 
emphatically bound to respect. That by the very law 
which released dissenters from all taxes to support the 
Episcopal church, the assembly of Virginia had pledged 
its legislative faith, the most solemn pledge and firmest 
sa-nction which a free state could give, that the property in 
dispute should " in all time coming" be saved and reserved 
to the use of the Episcopal church.* That to order a sale 
of property thus solemnly reserved, would tend to sap the 
foundation of those rights by which property in general is 
held, introduce into the acts of the legislature instability 
and uncertainty, exhibit a fluctuation in law unprecedented 
in Virginia, and overturn that confidence and security 
which the citizens of a republic should always feel in the 
stability of purpose avowed by their selected representa- 
tives. It was also said, that if pre-eminence and supe- 
riority in the church were evils justly dreaded, a declared 
preference for any other religious denomination was no 
less to be deprecated ; and that if the glebes were sold to 
gratify any sect or party, a distinction would be so far 
manifested in its favour ; and would tend to furnish it, in 
this patronage of the stale, with the means of establishing 
its own creed upon the ruins of every other. 

To the argument of unconstitutionality, as deduced from 
the declaration of rights, the answer was, that " the com- 
munity" under the government established after the revo- 
lution, certainly had granted to the church no "exclusive 
emoluments," for it had granted nothing ; it had only con- 

* Sfle Laws of October, 1776, ch. ii. ; 9 Hening, 164. 



230 rnoTESTANT episcopal church [1794. 

firmed to the church that which she had, and owned, and 
enjoyed for more than a century before. But, in truth, the 
fourth article of the declaration of rights had no bearing 
upon the question, as was evident when the whole of it was 
viewed together. The article declared " that no man, or 
set of men, are entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments 
or privileges from the community, but in consideration of 
public services ; which, not being descendible, neither ought 
the offices of magistrate, legislator, or judge, to be he- 
reditary ;" thus showing simply an intention to prevent 
hereditaiy honours, offices, or emoluments, in the civil 
government.* 

These are the principal arguments and answers which 
from time to time were presented to the legislature upon 
the question of a sale of the glebes generally ; there are to 
be found also among the memorials and remonstrances, 
some which concern the sale of a glebe in some particular 
parish only, and these afford additional considerations for 
and against the measure, founded upon the peculiar cir- 
cumstances of each case, and possessing no general in- 
terest. 

In the midst of this warm contest concerning the glebes, 
the convention of 1794 assembled, and repeating the former 
instructions to the Virginia delegates to oppose in the gen- 
eral convention the absolute negative which it was contem- 
plated to give to the House of Bishops, and to seek the 
repeal of the canon which forbade a clergyman to officiate 
without permission in the cure of another, it separated, 
without any other action on the subject of the glebes than 
to direct the standing committee to address the members 
of the church on the subject of its critical situation. 

The state of depression to which the church was now 
reduced, is attested by the fact that, in 17i-5, no convention 

• These arguments and answers are compiled from MSS., copies of 
memorials, dec, in the possession of the author. 



1796.] IN VIRGINIA. 231 

was held ; and it. is probable that such would have con- 
tinued for many years to be the case, but for the necessity 
imposed by a sense of duty upon the little remnant of the 
clergy, to spare no effort on their parts to save to the 
church the property which it had in the glebes. In this 
course they persisted, notwithstanding the obloquy which 
attached to them ; and accordingly, in 1796, it was unani- 
mously resolved by the convention, " that by various acts 
of the legislature of Virginia, the property of the church, 
formerly established by law, has been confirmed to the 
Protestant Episcopal church in this state ; and that there- 
fore any legislative interference, without the consent of 
the said church, by which its right to the said property 
would be affected, would be a violation of the rights of 
private property, and of one of the fundamental principles 
of the present civil government." A memorial to the legis- 
lature in the name of the convention was also prepared; 
but so hopeless did the prospect begin to be, that it was 
left to the bishop to present it or not, according to his views 
of expediency. 

It has already been intimated that all this strife concern- 
ing property helped no man's growth in grace; and so 
completely secular in their practices had some of the clergy 
now become, that it actually became necessary to pass a 
canon prohibiting them from holding military commissions. 
It would, however, be most unjust to extend the censure 
implied in this canon to the clergy generally. The number 
of those for whom such a law could have been necessary 
was very small. 

Bishop Madison, in the exercise of the discretion con- 
fided to him by the convention of 1796, submitted to the 
legislature of that year the memorial touching the sale of 
the property of the church. It was not acted upon by the 
Assembly ; but the subject, according to some former pre- 
cedents in matters concerning the church, already recorded, 



232 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1796. 

was submitted to the consideration of the people. Episco- 
palians began now to think that their only mode of saving 
the glebes was, if possible, with the concurrence of the 
legislature, to dr;iw the determination of the question from 
before that tribunal, and submit its decision to the courts 
of law. With the concurrence of the standing committee, 
the bishop, therefore, resolved to obtain professional advice; 
and an opinion was sought at the hands of some of the ablest 
jurists of Virginia. Bushrod Washington, Edmund Ran- 
dolph, and John Wickham were consulted, and, as the result 
of their deliberations, stated : — 

1. That the Protestant Episcopal church was the exclu- 
sive owner of the glebes. 

2. That so far was the title of the church from being 
impaired by the Bill of Rights, that on no sound construc- 
tion did they clash, but that the title of the church stood 
upon precisely the same grounds with the rights of private 
property, which had been recognised and secured by the 
principles of the revolution and by the constitution. 

3. That any question concerning the right of property in 
the glebes could constitutionally be decided by the judiciary 
alone. 

Having obtained this opinion, the bishop called together 
the convention in December, 1797, and in his address, di- 
recting their attention to the church property, laid before 
them the opinion just recited. 

The convention appointed a committee to attend the dis- 
cussion of their memorial before the legislature, and in- 
structed them to propose to that body that the controversy 
should be submitted to the decision of a proper tribunal of 
justice. 

The task becomes truly painful, of following through the 
ecclesiastical records of this period the gradual but sure 
descent of the church from level to level, each a little lower 
than the former ; and of witnessing effort after effort made 



1799.] IN VIRGINIA. 233 

in vain by her few remaining friends to stay her down- 
w^ard course. The picture presented by the bishop in one 
of his addresses about this time, offers to our contemplation 
a suffering clergy, temples in every stage of dilapidation 
and decay, and an increasing indifference to the interests 
of the church, which told too plainly that the protracted 
struggle was fast driving Churchmen into the hopelessness 
of despair.* 

The last conventional effort of which we have any record 
was made in 1799. By a resolution of that year, the bishop 
was directed to employ counsel to defend the rights of the 
church before the judiciary, whenever it should be deemed 
most proper to bring the question before it; and it is to be 
presumed that the church now sat down in patience to 
await the blow, which probably was seen by all to be 
inevitable. The crisis came at last; and on the twelfth of 
January, 1802, the legislature passed the law, by virtue of 
which the glebes of Virginia were ordered to be sold for 
the benefit of ihe public. The warfare begun by the Bap- 
tists seven-and-twenty years before, was now finished ; the 
church was in ruins, and the triumph of her enemies was 
complete. 

Whether the argument of the friends of the church, 
founded upon the constitution, the bill of rights, and 
former enactments of the legislature, was deemed so 
plausible as to require the interference of the Assembly 
to deprive it of its force, it is not possible to say; but 
so it was, that in January, 1799, an act was passed "to 
declare the construction of the bill of rights and constitu- 
tion, concerning religion," whereby every act which had 
been passed since the revolution, touching the church 
or its property, was repealed, as being "inconsistent with 
the principles of the constitution and of religious freedom," 
and as tending " manifestly to the re-establishment of a 

• Bishop Madison's Address, May, 1790. 

o o 



234 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1802. 

national church ;" and it was further declared that Mr. 
Jefferson's celebrated law " for establishing religious free- 
dom," was a true exposition of the principles of the bill 
of rights and constitution.* 

The preamble to the law directing the sale of the glebes, 
recited, that " the General Assembly, on the twenty-fourth 
day of January, 1799, by their act of that date repealed 
all the laws relative to the late Protestant Episcopal church, 
and declared a true exposition of the principles of the bill 
of rights and constitution respecting the same to be con- 
tained in the act entitled ' An act for establishing religious 
freedom ;' thereby recognising the principle that all prop- 
erty formerly belonging to the said church, of every de- 
scription, devolved on the good people of this common- 
wealth on the dissolution of the British government here, 
in the same degree in which the right and interest of the 
said church was therein derived from them ;" and that 
although the General Assembly possessed the right of au- 
thorizing a sale of all such property indiscriminately, yet 
being desirous to reconcile all the good people of this com- 
monwealth, it was deemed inexpedient at that time to dis- 
turb the possession of the present incumbents. It then 
proceeded to enact, that in any county where any glebe 
was or should become vacant, the overseers of the poor 
should have full power to sell the same. The proceeds of 
the sale were directed to be appropriated to the poor of the 
parish, or to any other object which a majority of free- 
holders and housekeepers in the parish might by writmg 
direct, provided that nothing should authorize an appropri- 
ation of it " to any religious purpose whatever." The 
church edifices, with the property contained in them, and 
churchyards, were not to be sold under the law, neither 
were any private donations made before the year 1777, if 
there was any person in being entitled to hold property 

♦ Laws of Virginia, edition of 1803, p. 388 



1802.] IN VIRGINIA. 235 

under the original donor. Gifts and subscriptions made 
after the year 1777 were left untouched. 

If there should be those who are disposed to view this 
law as an illegal encroachment upon the vested rights of 
the church, it is proper to remind them of the reasons 
which satisfied those who enacted it that they were doing 
right. They supposed that from the beginning the prop- 
erty of the glebes was in the people,* not in the clergy, and 
that, as the number of Episcopalians in the parishes which 
remained was not a majority of the people, therefore no 
injustice was done by the act in question. Many who 
voted for the law felt compelled to do so by the force of 
popular opinion. 

The very natural inquiry will here be proposed, " What 
was the effect of this law, and how far were the people 
benefited by the sale of the glebes?" We answer this 
inquiry in the words of one of our contemporaries, who 
has always lived in Virginia : — " Under this act not only 
glebes, but churches, and even the communion plate, have 
been sold."t " The purchasers of the glebes have, in every 
instance where a sale has been made, paid, as it were, 
almost nothing for them."| " After all that has been done, 
how has the public been benefited, either in a moral or pe- 
cuniary way ? If it has been benefited, let those who can, 
show it. It is denied that the public has in any way derived 
the least benefit from the sale of any of the glebes which 
have been sold. It is well known that in some counties the 
money has got into the hands of some of the overseers of 
the poor, and there it has remained."§ 

Nay, at this moment, should we ask where are the ves- 
sels which were once consecrated to the service of Almighty 
God, to be used in that holy sacrament which the Redeemer 

Vide ante, p. 55. et al. vs. the overseers of the poor 

t Lee's Review of the Chancel- of Loudoun county et al. p. 15. 
lor'a opinion in the case of Selden X Ibid. p. 26, 
^ Ibid. p. 16. 



S36) PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [180S?. 

instituted " for a perpetual memory of his death and sacrr- 
fice, until his coming again," what must be the answer T 
The sacred vessels of the temple have been scattered, they 
have passed in some instances into impious hands. Withift 
our own times has the fact occurred that a reckless sensu- 
alist has administered the morning dram to his guests from 
the silver cup which has often contained the consecrated 
symbol of his Saviour's blood I* In another instance, the 
entire set of communion plate of one of the old churches 
is in the hands of one who belongs to the society of Bap- 
tists.f It has fallen to the lot of the Bishop of Virginia, in 
the course of his visitations, to witness the conversion of a 
marble baptismal font into a watering-trough for horses. 
These facts last recorded did not take place by virtue of the 
law of 1802 ; for that authorized no sale of the furniture 
©f the church : but still they are a consequence of that law; 
they prove that when once the decree has gone forth which 
touches what a church claims as its lawful rights — when 
once the public are taught that their legislators feel obliged, 
on such a subject, to yield to their demands — the barrier is 
broken down ; might makes right ; and no man can foretell 
how far the zeal of the people will outstrip the intentions of 
their legislators. It is a fact worthy of notice that the 
records of history present few or no instances in which the 
spoliation of property devoted to literary or ecclesiastical 
purposes, has not failed, first, to accomplish the benefit 
which was avowed as the cause of the interference with 
it ; and, secondly, to be stayed within the limits contem- 
plated by those who advised it. 

In view of the facts just related, we are constrained to 
say, that if in her former prosperous condition the church 
in Virginia had sinned more deeply than she is accused of 
having done, even by her enemies, verily, in the ruin which 

• MS. letter in the author's possession, from one of the Virginia 
clergy, 
t Ibid. 



1804.] IN VIRGINIA. 237 

we have now seen overtake her, she has made an ample, 
and, to her, costly atonement. 

It was not long after the passage of the act of 1802, 
before the church found it necessary to bring the constitu- 
tionality of that law before the proper tribunal for consid- 
eration. This was done in the year J 804, in the celebrated 
case of Turpin et al. vs. Locket et al., commonly known as 
the Manchester case. The defendants, as overseers of the 
poor, had undertaken to sell the glebe lands of the parish 
of M.anchester, under the act of 1802; and the plaintiffs, 
who were the churchwardens and vestrymen, filed a bill in 
chancery, to prevent the sale by an injunction.* 

The cause finally, by an appeal from the decree of Chan- 
cellor Wythe, came before the court of appeals, the highest 
tribunal in Virginia ; which, at that time, was composed of 
Judge Pendleton, the president, with Judges Carrington, 
Lyons, Roane, and Fleming. The last named gentleman, 
however, did not sit in the cause, because he considered 
himself interested in the decision.f 

As the principles involved in the case were of great im- 
portance, and the property of the glebes was of much 
value, it may readily be supposed that the cause excited a 
deep interest; and, after an elaborate argument, the court 
declined then giving an opinion, and held it under advise- 
ment. In the vacation which succeeded. Judge Pendleton 
prepared his opinion in writing ; it was, that the act of 
1802 was unconstitutional, and that the glebes belonged ta 
the Protestant Episcopal church. But, on the night before 
the opinion was to have been pronounced, Judge Pendleton 
died;X and as Judges Carrington and Lyons were both 
known to be of a similar opinion, the judgment of the court, 
but for the death of its president, would have been rendered 
on the next day for the church. 

* 6 Call's Reports, 113. overseers of the poor of Loudoun> 

t Lee's Review of the Chancel- p. 17. 
lor's opinion in Selden et al. vs. t 6 Call's Reports, 187. 



238 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1804. 

After the death of Judge Pendleton, Judge Tucker was 
appointed to succeed him, and the cause was again argued. 
The grounds taken were briefly these : on the part of the 
defendants it was argued, 1. That if the church had power 
to hold the glebes before the American revolution, that 
event destroyed such power ; and upon a dissolution of the 
former political system, the glebes devolved upon the com- 
monwealth. 

To this it was answered, that by various legislative acts 
adopted after the change in government, the very framers 
of the constitution, who adopted these acts, conclusively 
showed that they did not suppose the revolution had de- 
stroyed the church : thus, on the very day after the decla- 
ration of independence, the convention of Virginia altered 
the Book of Common Prayer, to accommodate it to the 
change in affairs ; and it should here be added, that Judges 
Carrington and Lyons, both of whom were members of the 
convention of Virginia, declared, in their opinion, that the 
destruction of the church was not supposed, at the time, to 
have resulted from the change of government. It was also 
answered, that revolutions are intended to preserve rights, 
not to take them away ; and that alterations in the form 
of a government do not affect the rights of private prop- 
erty. 

2. It was urged that a distinction obtains between a na- 
tural person and an artificial body, such as a corporation: 
that even admitting the rights of the first to be unmolested 
by a revolution, yet the rights of the latter are thereby 
lost. 

In reply, it was said, that as all property was matter of 
civil institution, and the right to it was not natural, but in 
all cases created by law, the ground on which private prop- 
erty was held sacred applied as forcibly to a society as it 
did to an individual. 

3. It was argued that the church, as a society, lost its 
corporate existence by the revolution: first, because the 



1804.] IN VIRGINIA. 239 

king, one of its integral parts, was gone ; secondly, because 
incorporaled religious societies were contrary to the six- 
teenth article of the bill of rights ; and, thirdly, because 
the profits of the glebes were emoluments, which were for- 
bidden by the fourth article. 

It was answered, that neither of these positions was 
true. 

First, the king never was an integral part of the estab- 
lished church, even in England ; but, if he were, then a 
society is not destroyed by the removal of one of its parts, 
provided enough be left to carry on its operations. 

Secondly, the sixteenth article of the bill of rights relates 
simply to the rights of conscience, and the mutual charities 
due from man to man.* 

Thirdly, the fourth article does not relate io property at 
all, but to emoluments and privileges subsequently to be 
created in favour of the great officers of government; and 
refers to magistrates, legislators, and judges only. 

Upon the second argument. Judges Carrington and Lyons 
still retained their former opinion, Judge Tucker concurred 
in opinion with Judge Roane that the act of 1802 was con- 
stitutional, and that the glebes might be sold ; while Judge 
Fleming, who was known to agree with Judges Carrington 
and Lyons, still declined, for the reason before given, to sit 
in the case. Thus the court was equally divided ; and, of 
course, the decree below, from which an appeal had been 
taken, was affirmed ; though it has never yet been deter- 
mined by a majority of the court of appeals in Virginia, 
that the law of 1802 is constitutional. 

* The article is in these words : — " That religi in, or the duty which we 
owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by 
reason and conviction, not by force or violence, and therefore all men are 
equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of 
conscience ; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practise Christian for- 
bearance, love, and charity towards each other." 



240 PROTESTANT BPISCOPAL CHURCH [1805. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

1805-1816. 

Convention of 1805 — An assistant Bishop proposed — Itinerating Clergy 
recommended — Suspension of Conventions — Death of Bishop Madison 
— Election of Dr. Bracken to the Episcopate — He declines — Utter Pros- 
tration of a part of the Church — First dawn of Improvement in her Pros- 
pects — Election of Bishop Moore to the Episcopate — Clergy not more 
numerous than they were about Two Hundred Years before — Revival of 
the Church — Zeal and Labours of the Bishop and Clergy — Bequest to 
the Church — Discipline of the Laity — A number of new Churches built 
— Old ones repaired — Difficulties arising from the Bishop's being a 
Parish Minister — Theological Education. 

The convention of 1805 opened with an attendance of 
fifteen clergymen and sixteen laymen; and when it is re- 
membered that the posture of affairs was now such as put 
in peril everything to which the church had a claim, and 
therefore made a loud call upon Episcopalians to come to 
her aid with their counsels, we are constrained to con- 
sider the limited number of attendants upon the convention 
as evidence, that in the minds of Churchmen generally the 
further prosecution of their cause was deemed useless. 

Such, however, was not the sentiment of the few who did 
assemble. Though feeble in numbers, they were yet reso- 
lute in purpose ; and considering the great question of the 
title to the glebes as yet undecided, they did not fail to put 
upon their records a solemn protest against the law of 1802 
as being unconstitutional, and unanimously resolved that the 
bishop and standing committee should be authorized and 
requested " to pursue to the end" the defence of the rights 
and property of the church. They called also upon every 
parish to send its contribution towards a fund for the pur- 



1805. J IN VIRGINIA. 241 

pose of defraying any and all expenses which might be in- 
curred in carrying into eficct their resolution ; and that the 
precise condition of every portion of the property in dis- 
pute might be well understood, they required of the visiters 
to report without delay to the bishop and standing com- 
mittee the name of every parish, and of every incumbent 
of a parish within their respective districts, what glebes had 
been sold under the law of 1802, and what were then in 
litigation. 

Having thus disposed of the rnost important matter be- 
fore them, they next directed their attention to the more 
effectual government of the church ; both clergy and laity 
were laid under more restraints than were common in 
practice, and to a disciplined layman was allowed the right 
of appeal to the convention from the sentence of his minister 
and vestrymen. 

Bishop Madison began now to feel the weight of years 
and incessant occupation. He was verging towards three- 
score, and in addition to the anxieties created by the con- 
dition of the church, as exhibited in our previous pages, he 
was also burdened with the cares of William and Mary 
College, of which he still continued to be the head. Urging 
therefore upon the convention the feebleness of a failing 
body, he asked that an assistant bishop might be appointed 
to aid him in the discharge of his duties. The convention 
resolved that it was expedient to appoint such an officer, 
but postponed the nomination of him until the next conven- 
tion. This, it is believed, is the first instance in the history 
of the American Episcopal church in which mention is 
made of assistant bishops. 

There was o/ie other measure brought before the con- 
vention of 1805, which, according to the disposition of dif- 
ferent minds, may be deemed an exhibition of commend- 
able zeal, or a stroke of calculating policy. Many of the 
parishes were without pastors ; it was therefore deter- 
mined that they should be supplied by itinerating minis- 

H U 



2i2 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1805. 

ters, to be selected by the bishop and standing committee, 
and to be paid out of a fund to be raised by general sub- 
scription in the chuiches. It is not improbable, that in a 
newly settled country, where the population is scattered, 
and society can scarcely be said to be organized, the sys- 
tem of itinerancy may be advantageously resorted to for a 
time at least; and even in older countries, when the desti- 
tution of clergymen lias become great, it may be highly 
expedient to introduce the same system ; it is iu fact but a 
primitive species of missionary labour, and we know it to 
have been often blessed in its results. There was doubt- 
less in Virginia a necessity for more ministerial labours 
than could be had, end the measure adopted by the con- 
vention may therefore have been prompted by zeal alone; 
but inasmuch as many of the parishes possessed glebes, 
which, under the law of 1802, were liable to be sold in all 
cases where there was no incumbent, the expedient of itin- 
erating ministers, who periodically should visit destitute 
parishes, may by some be uncharitably supposed to have 
been a scheme intended merely to furnish the parishes with 
ministers, so far at least as might be necessary to prevent 
the sale of their property. A more probable and kind con- 
jecture is, that there were exhibited such beneficial results 
in the adoption of an itinerating ministry by the Method- 
ists, that Churchmen were taught wisdom by their example. 
The subject of an assistant bishop did not again come 
under consideration ; indeed, the depressed condition of the 
church was such, that there was no conventional meeting 
before which it could be brought ; for it is believed that 
from the period now under consideration up to the year 
1812, no convention assembled in Virginia. It was the 
dark day of the church: Bishop Madison was gradually 
sinking under tlie combined weight of college cares and 
episcopal anxieties, and seems to have yielded, in some 
degree at least, to that despair which had already settled 
on the minds of so many Churchmen. The rest of the 



1812.] IN VIUGINIA. 243 

clergy, greatly diminished however in numbers, still con- 
tinued to officiate, and occasionally some one among them, 
in whose case some peculiarity of circumstance was sup- 
posed to exist, which exempted it from the ordinary appli- 
cation of the law for the sale of the glebes, ventured to as- 
sert his right by an appeal to tlie tribunals of the country; 
and sometimes such an appeal was not without success. 
Witli the exception of such occasional claims on the part 
of the clergy, the evidence is nearly uniform, that all hope 
of raising the church from the dust had been well nigh 
abandoned by Episcopalians. 

The death of Bishop Madison, which occurred on the 
sixth of March, 1812, was the first circumstance which in- 
terrupted this state of stagnation, and compelled the church 
once more to assemble in convention. Thirteen clergymen 
and twelve laymen accordingly met in Richmond, about 
two months after the death of the bishop ; and among the 
names of the clergy is to be found that of one, who, de- 
scended from one of the best families of Virginia, and then 
a very young man, but just ordained, had presented the 
example, rare enough at that day, of relinquishing the 
prospects which wealth and family influence might have 
opened before him, and of devoting himself to the ministry 
in the church of his fathers. That gentleman is now the 
assistant bishop of Virginia, and is thus mentioned because 
he was one of those who were most active in the resuscita- 
tion of the church in his native state. 

One of the most important measures of this convention 
was the election of a successor to Bishop Madison. The 
choice of the convention fell upon the Rev. Doctor Bracken, 
by an almost unanimous vote. If additional evidence were 
needed of the almost entire ruin of the church, it might be 
gathered from another act of the convention. The number 
of members required by canon to form a quorum was fif- 
teen ; and the number necessary to adopt any canon was 
twenty-five. Under this law of the church, it may well be 



244 rnoTESTANT episcopal ciiuncH [1813. 

questioned whether the body which assembled was legally 
a convention ; and it is not improbable that a compliance 
with the canon, as to the number of clergy, was at that 
time very difncult, if not actually impossi^^^le. The con- 
vention, therefore, from necessity altered the canon, and 
made nine members competent to transact business, and 
fifteen necessary to pass a canon in the conventions of a 
state, which could once number its hundred ministers. 

The effort to provide a successor in the episcopate proved 
abortive, for in May, 1813, Dr. Bracken declined the ap- 
pointment, and the convention of that year, which barely 
had a quorum, did not proceed to another election. Such 
had now become the poverty of some of the churches which 
once supported their clergymen without difficulty, that the 
convention felt the necessity of making some effort to save 
them from entire destruction. This feehng gave birth to 
the following resolutions: — 

" Whereas, from the destitute state of the churches in 
this state, many piously disposed persons who are attached 
to the doctrine, worship, and discipline of the Protestant 
Episcopal church are deprived of the means of worshipping 
God according to her venerable forms, to the great un- 
happiness of themselves, as well as to the great detriment 
of the church at large ; 

"Resolved, therefore, that it is expedient to raise a fund 
for the purpose of aiding in the suppoit of such clergymen 
of piety and talents as may be obtained to perform divine 
service in such districts in the stale as may be assigned to 
them by the convention. 

" Resolved, that the clergy and vestry, or any influential 
members of the church in the several parishes in the state 
be, and are hereby requested to use their best endeavours, 
either by subscriptions or otherwise, to promote this ob- 
ject. 

" Resolved, that the members of this church generally, 
are hereby most earnestly entreated to consider the ncces- 



1813.] IN VIRGINIA. 245 

sity of adopting zealous measures for the restoration of re- 
ligion among us; that they endeavour to manifest their 
gratitude to Almighty God, and their sense of the awful 
importance of his blessed revelation ; that they consider 
the unspeakable rewards they will receive from ti^at gra- 
cious master to whom they belong, whose goodness de- 
mands the warmest returns of love, duty, and obedience ; 
and that they will contribute to the utmost in their power 
to render this most acceptable service to his cause." 

The standing committee was directed to prepare and 
distribute an address upon the condition of the church ; 
and an idea of its character may be gathered from the 
tenor of the resolutions just recorded. Disheartening 
however as is their language, it is proper to mention that 
the journals of this year do exhibit some symptoms, faint 
indeed, but still cheering, of reviving zeal for the church of 
Christ. The period through which, for some years, our 
narrative has been taking us, is one for the most part of 
such gloomy darkness, that the smallest ray of light is felt 
to be a blessing. The record is therefore made with grati- 
tude, that, at this convention, contributions in aid of the 
church were sent in from twelve parishes : let us not de- 
spise them because they amounted in the aggregate to but 
fifty-five pounds. We must not forget that there was a 
time when nothing was contributed. 

Thankful should we be also that we are about to emerge 
from the darkness which has so long shrouded the church. 
The fact recorded in the last paragraph was the dawning 
light of a brighter day; the church in Virginia was now 
about entering upon a course which has steadily continued 
to the present day to be upward. The event which most 
prominently marked its commencement was the election 
to the episcopate of its present venerated diocesan, the 
Riijht Uev. Richard Chatininor Moore. This event took 
place in May, 18.4, and the journals of the convention, by 
which the election was made, show the presence of but 



246 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1814. 

seven clergymen and seventeen laymen. We look back 
upon the past, and are struck with the contrast. Seven 
clersrvmen were all that could be convened to transact the 
most important measure which our conventions are ever 
called on to perform ; and this in a territory where, once, 
more than ten times seven regularly served at the altar. 
We look back farther still, and fmd the church, after the 
lapse of two hundred years, numbering about as many 
ministers as she possessed at the close of the first eight 
years of her existence. 

The choice made by this little handful of clergy and laity 
was well and wisely made. If the Bishop of Virginia were 
gathered to the rest of that blessed inheritance which awaits 
him, it would be alike an act of duty and of pleasure to 
permit ourselves freely to render that affectionate and 
well-earned tribute of respect which, in doing justice to 
him, would therein also do honour to ourselves ; but we 
must not forget what is due to the sensitive modesty of 
living worth. 

The individual who truly deserves the esteem of his 
fellows, is apt to possess a delicacy of feeling which pre- 
fers that men should love him rather than praise him. In 
our notice of the diocesan of Virginia, we would not shock 
that delicacy. 

The Right Reverend Richard Channing Moore, bishop 
of the diocess of Virginia, was born in the city of New- 
York, on the twenty-first day of August, 1762. His father 
was Thomas Moore, son of the Honourable John Moore, 
Esq., one of his majesty's council, for what, at that time, 
was the province of New- York. 

At the age of eight years, the subject of this sketch was 
placed under the care of Mr. Alexander Leslie, professor 
of languages in King's (now Columbia) College ; and, under 
his instruction, he continued until the commencement of 
the war of the revolution, at which period he had com- 
pleted his classical studies. 



1814.] IN VIRGINIA. 247 

At the early age of sixteen he entered npon the study of 
medicine, under the direction of Doctor Richard Bayley, a 
celebrated physician and surgeon of that day; and after 
completing his professional studies, he entered on the prac- 
tice of medicine, in which he continued until the year 
1787. 

The religious impressions of Doctor Moore commenced 
at a very early period, as he remembers their existence 
even in his boyhood : during his practice of medicine, how- 
ever, they returned upon him with increased force ; and 
the result was a determination to devote himself to the 
Christian ministry. The profession of an Episcopal clergy- 
man was one which then held out no worldly temptation 
to him who sought it; for it offered in most parts of the 
country no recompense at all for his labours, because in 
most parts the church had been prostrated by the war ; 
and its remuneration was but scanty, even in those places 
where the church had survived the storm. But Doctor 
Moore had no worldly ends to answer, and therefore did 
not hesitate to devote himself to a cause, not the less dear 
or honoured in his eyes for being humble in the eyes of 
the world. His purpose being fixed, he immediately en- 
tered on a course of preparatory study, and under the 
superintendence of his old preceptor, Mr. Leslie, he revised 
his classical reading. 

In the month of July, 1787, he was admitted to deacon's 
orders by' the Right Reverend Samuel Provoost, the first 
bishop of the diocess of New- York. There were several 
circumstances connected with his ordination which im- 
parted to it more than usual interest in his eyes. He was 
the first individual who received orders at the hands of the 
new bishop, and probably the first who ever received 
episcopal ordination in his native city: at the time of his 
admission into the ministry, he constituted the sixth or 
seventh clergyman in the large diocess of New-York, 
which now contains more than two hundred Episcopal 



248 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1814. 

clergymen ; and the ordination took place in St. George's 
Chapel, where he had been baptized, nnd confirnried, and 
at the altar of which he had first received the Eucharist. 
In the following September, he received priest's orders in 
the same chapel, and from the same bishop, and immedi- 
ately took charge of the parish of Grace Church, in the 
township of Rye, Westchester county. 

The edifice in which the congregation at Rye now wor- 
ships, is a monument of his zeal, and a part of the first 
fruits of his labours in promoting the temporal as well as 
spiritual welfare of the church, which he has so long and 
so truly loved : it was by his exertions that the money 
was raised with which this church was built. 

In the latter part of 1788 he was invited to accept of the 
rectorship of St. Andrew's Church, on Staten Island; to 
which place he removed in the month of October of that 
year. This field of his labours he continued to occupy for 
twenty-one years, and he here reared for himself a me- 
morial such as a Christian minister may contemplate with 
gratitude. The flock committed to his charge increased 
so greatly, that it was found necessary to erect a chapel 
on the north side of the island, which was soon filled with 
attentive hearers. 

As a preacher, Bishop Moore has been eminently success- 
ful : indeed, it may well be questioned whether the labours 
of any one clergyman in the Episcopal church in the United 
States have been more abundantly blessed than have those 
of this prelate. With a manner the most persuasive and af- 
fectionate, mingled with great earnestness of feeling,and un- 
doubted piety, his preaching has, by the Spirit's blessing, 
found its way to the heart of many a hearer. An incident oc- 
curred in the course of his ministry on Staten Island so re- 
markable, that it deserves to be recorded. The bishop was 
never at any time disposed to countenance the unnatural and 
feverish excitement in congregations, which, often the result 
of animal emotion powerfully wrought upon, perhaps, by 



1814.] IN VIRGINIA. 249 

artificial machinery of man's inventions, sometimes passes 
current for a work of the Spirit of God. He did not, how- 
ever, perceive why the same Spirit, which by its blessed 
influences operates on the heart and conscience of one 
sinner, brinj^ing him to repentance towards God, and a 
living faith in the Redeemer, might not also operate simul- 
taneously on many sinners with the same happy result; 
though, for the production of such an end, he knew of no 
means, except such as were sanctioned in the orderly ser- 
vices of the church to which he belonged. Prayer, public 
and private, the stated worship of the church, her comfort- 
able sacraments, and the faithful preaching of the Gospel, 
were all the machinery of which he knew either the law- 
fulness or the use. He had been persoveringly engaged in 
the use of these for a length of time, until, at an hour, when 
nothing unusual had seemingly occurred to produce any 
solemn efiect, the minds of his people seemed to be simul- 
taneously awakened to the infinite value of divine things. 

It was at one of his stated lectures in the church, that 
after the usual services had concluded, and the benediction 
been pronounced, he sat down in his pulpit, waiting for the 
people to retire. To his great surprise, he soon observed 
that not an individual present seemed disposed to leave 
the church ; and, after the interval of a few minutes, during 
which a perfect silence was maintained, one of the mem- 
bers of the congregation arose, and respectfully requested 
him to address those present a second lime. After sing- 
ing a hymn, the bishop delivered to them a second dis- 
course, and once more dismissed the people with the 
blessing. But the same state of feeling, which had be- 
fore kept them in their seats, still existed, and once more 
did they solicit the preacher to address them ; accord- 
ingly he delivered to them a third sermon ; and, at its 
close, exhausted by the labour in which he had been en- 
gaged, he informed them of ihe impossibility of continuing 

1 1 



250 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1814. 

the services on his part, once more blessed them, and 
affectionately entreated them to retire to their homes. 

It was within the space of six weeks, after the scene 
above described, that more than sixty members of the con- 
gregation became communicants; and, in the course of 
the year, more than one hundred knelt around the chancel 
of St. Andrew's, who had never knelt there before as par- 
takers of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. 

It is not wonderful that in the retrospect of the facts we 
have here related, the bishop should entertain an opinion, 
best expressed in his own words, that, " although we have 
the promise of heaven to be always present with the 
church, still, there are particular seasons in which the 
Almighty displays his power in a manner so overwhelm- 
ing, as to command the attention of his rational creatures ; 
to dispel that coldness which makes them indifferent to the 
calls of duty ; to excite their gratitude to God for his mer- 
cies ; to melt obdurate offenders into contrition, and to 
oblige them to sue for forgiveness at the throne of grace." 
Nor is it matter of surprise that the good bishop should be 
led by this incident in his own ministerial experience, often 
to impress, as he does, especially upon his younger clergy, 
the duty, at seasons in which the Almighty manifests his 
presence in a more than ordinary way, gladly to avail 
themselves of such propitious times to put forth redoubled 
efforts in their Master's cause. 

In the spring of 1809, the bishop w^as invited to become 
the rector of St. Stephen's Church, in the city of New- 
York, and removed thither in June of the same year, leav- 
ing his son, the Rev. David Moore, at the desire of the 
congregation, in charge of St. Andrew's parish, on Staten 
Island. 

The new situation in which he found himself was one 
beset with many difficulties. The parish was young, and, 
at that time, the church, which time has since placed in the 
centre of a crowded population, was on the outskirts of the 



1814.] IN VIRGINIA. 251 

city, with but little more than thirty families attending it ; 
among which might be found about twenty communicants. 
The bishop continued here ministering to an affectionate 
and constantly increasing congregation for five years ; at 
the expiration of which time, he was elected to the episco- 
pate of Virginia, and left in St. Stephen's about four hun- 
dred communicants. 

The first invitations which the bishop received from Vir- 
ginia were from several of the clergy of that diocess ; these 
were, in fact, but proposals to permit them to elect him 
for their bishop ; but New-York was his native city, he 
felt that to him no other place would for a long time be 
home; and, as he says himself, his heart dwelt upon the 
tomb of his forefathers, with whom he desired, at last, to 
rest in death, in the cemetery of Trinity Church ; he there- 
fore declined their proposals. In a few weeks, however, 
he received further proposals from some distinguished 
gentlemen of the laity in Virginia, and then felt it to be his 
duty to submit the matter to the consideration of Bishop 
Hobart and the clergy of the city; and, after mature re- 
flection, they were of opinion that he ought to accept the 
charge ; he then gave his assent, was elected bishop of 
Virginia, and, as we have seen, was consecrated in May, 
1814. 

The previous pages of our book will show the amount 
of difficulties which he was called to meet in his new char- 
acter ; the success with which he met them will, also, be 
gathered from our narrative. The clergy were not nu- 
merous, as we have seen ; and many of them were aged, 
and, though faithful to the last, were not able to do much. 
There were, however, four gentlemen of the clergy, whose 
names deserve a place in the records of the Virginia church, 
and who should be held by future Episcopalians in honour- 
able remembrance, as instruments in the hands of God in 
aiding Bishop Moore to revive the prostrate church. 
Three of them are now with God ; and the fourth still 



252 PnOTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1814. 

lives and labours vvilh all the zeal of his earlier years. 
These gentlemen were, the Rev. Dr. Wilnner, the Rev. 
Mr. Norris of Alexandria, the Rev. Mr. Dunn of Loudon 
county, and the present assistant bishop of Virginia. 

It only remains to be added, that the bishop is nov^r in 
the seventy-fourth year of his age, the fortj'-ninth of his 
ministry, and the twenty-second of his consecration ; and 
at a period of life when, as it would seem, he might fairly 
ask for a little repose, he is contemplating the resignation 
of his office as rector of the Monumental Church in Rich- 
mond, not that he may sit down in idleness, but to devote 
his labours exclusively to the duties of his higher office. 

The convention, which immediately followed the elec- 
tion of Bishop Moore, afforded most gratifying evidence 
of the benefits which resulted from the fresh impulse 
created by his presence, and almost by that alone, for he 
had been able, from the shortness of the time, to do but 
little. Men's hearts, however, were not now, as in times 
past, " failing them for fear" that all was lost. Accord- 
ingly, the assemblage of the clergy at the convention of 
1815 was just double what it had been twelve months be- 
fore, while the presence of twenty-eight lay representatives 
attested the renewed interest which the laity began to feel 
in the revival of the church of their fathers. The bishop 
in his address informed the convention that he had found 
in every parish whicli he had visited the most animated 
wish in the people to repair the waste places, and restore 
the church of their ancestors to its primitive purity and 
€xcellence. He had seen congregations, upon the bare 
mention by him of that glory which once irradiated with 
its beams the church of Virginia, burst into tears, and by 
their emotions show that they would no longer be idle 
spectators of its present prostration. In two instances, at 
least, parislies which had been for years destitute of min- 
isterial services, and which to all human appearance had 
sunk into the sleep of death, suddenly aroused themselves 



1815.] IN VIRGINIA. 253 

in all the vigour of perfect health. Nor were these out- 
ward marks of prosperity all which the bishop was per- 
mitted to witness: he found the minds of the people alive 
to the truths of religion, and manifesting a sensibility to 
divine things, which, he said, bordered on the spirit of 
gospel times. 

In the production of this pleasant change in the aspect 
of affairs, much must be ascribed to the zeal and piety of 
the younger clergy. It is not intended hereby to dis- 
parage their elder brethren. Some were yet alive who 
had known the church before the revolution, and passed 
with her tiirough all her subsequent struggles ; they still 
laboured for her with a love which no adversities had 
been able to kill ; and in their limited spheres, limited only 
because the infirmities of age forbade their enlargement, 
they were found faithfully contributing their best efforts to 
advance the cause to which their lives had been conse- 
crated. But the younger clergy, fired with zeal, gave to 
the work every faculty they possessed ; they laboured as 
missionaries wherever and whenever they could. In the 
language of the bishop, " they carried the standard of the 
Lord Jesus Christ through a considerable portion of the 
church : they went out into the highways and hedges, 
preaching the truths of their Divine Master ; and by their 
holy conversation with the people, adorned the gospel of 
Christ." 

Nor would it be just to the laity of Virginia not to men- 
tion the cheerful discharge, on their part, of the duty of 
making provision for the support of their clergymen, who 
were generally left dependant on the liberality of their 
congregations. An instance of this increasing interest of 
the laity in the prosperity of the church was furnished, 
about this time, by a devise made to the president, pro- 
fessors, or masters of William and Mary College, of a 
tract of land with certain slaves, in trust for the mainte- 
nance of the clergymen within one of the older parishes, 



254 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1815. 

and for the payment of a small sum annually as a fund, 
to be applied towards defraying the general expenses of 
the church. 

An increase in the number of the clergy was also one 
of the happy fruits of the first year of Bishop Moore's 
episcopate. He admitted three to the ministry, and en- 
rolled four as candidates for orders. 

The subject of theological education which had hereto- 
fore, as we have seen, excited attention in the minds of 
some, began again to awaken interest. The circumstance 
which was the immediate cause of now bringing it into 
notice, was a communication from the president of William 
and Mary College, addressed to the convention, upon the 
exf)ediency of providing a fund for the support of the theo- 
logical chair in that institution, which had long been va- 
cant. The matter was referred to the bishop and standing 
committee, and it is probable that this incident contributed 
in the hands of Providence to produce, a few years after- 
ward, the theological school at Alexandria. 

There was a topic of great delicacy which also came 
up at this time for consideration. It is a fact, familiar to 
the student of ecclesiastical history, that modern times 
exhibit an almost total relaxation of the ancient ecclesias- 
tical discipline: an entire restoration of it would probably 
be neither expedient nor practicable, and yet nothing is 
more certain than that it is ruinous to the spiritual welfare 
of the church to permit crime in its members to escape 
with impunity. If the church be really a society, it is 
evident that there must be government in it; government 
implies law ; and law implies penalties ; the infliction of 
penalties is discipline. The only point of danger is, lest 
discipline should degenerate into tyranny: let this be 
guarded against, and no reasonable objection can be made 
against the punishment of an offender, whether clerical 
or lay. 

The church in her rubrics, relative to communicants, 



1815.] IN VIRGINIA. 255 

has made provision for certain cases where the facts are 
known to the clergyman, and the congregation has been 
offended by the wickedness of the communicant, and these 
rubrics were in existence at the period now under review ; 
but offences for which a layman might be tried, and the 
mode of trial, were not defined, either by rubric or canon. 
Ample provision had been niade for bringing to deserved 
punishment a clergyman who offended ; and now the 
church in Virginia legislated for the discipline of the laity 
also. Two canons were adopted (not, however, to take 
effect until after the lapse of a twelvemonth.) By the first 
of these it was declared that " drunkenness, incontinence, 
profane swearing, general neglect of public worship, Sab- 
bath breaking, irreverent behaviour during divine service, 
gaming, extortion, and any other viciousness of life, are 
crimes and misdemeanors for which lay members, who 
are communicants of this church, may be reproved, pub- 
licly censured, or repelled from the holy communion, ac- 
cording to the degrees of the offence, and the age and other 
circumstances of the offender." The other canon pointed 
out the mode of proceeding: the clergyman, to whose 
parish the offender might belong, upon information and 
satisfactory evidence of his guilt, was required privately 
to admonish him : if this failed to produce reformation, the 
wardens and vestrymen were constituted a court for his 
trial ; and upon his conviction by them, the minister was 
to pronounce sentence ; which sentence could only be, re- 
proof before the wardens and vestrymen, public censure in 
the church, or repelling from the holy communion. 

Whatever may be thought of the necessity for this act of 
legislation, it affords, at least, evidence of the purity of heart 
and high sense of the value of Christian consistency, which 
belonged to the laity of the convention which passed it. 
They were not unwilling to bring themselves under its 
operation, because they wished no blot to rest upon the 
honour and purity of the church. At this day, for con- 



256 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1816. 

sistent piety, the communicants of Virginia will compare 
with those of any diocess in the confederacy. 

Further reflection, probably, convinced the Churchmen 
of Virginia that such legislation as had taken place was 
not the most judicious ; but they never lost sight of the 
importance to the church of consistency in its members. 
The canons just mentioned never went into execution : in 
181C they were repealed, and a substitute was provided 
for them in the following terms: "Whereas, the present 
state of the Protestant Episcopal church in Virginia has 
experienced many and great inconveniences from the want 
of such regulations and provisions as the good and whole- 
some government of the said church required, and from 
the non-performance of existing canons: now, in order that 
such inconveniences may be removed, so far as lieth in this 
convention, and that the rules and canons of the said church, 
and also those of the general convention may be strictly 
observed and enforced in all time to come : that all the 
members of the said church, whether clergymen or laymen, 
may be excited to the most zealous and commendable exer- 
tions to further, by all justifiable means, the future pros- 
perity of the church : be it ordained, that any lay mem- 
ber of the church, being a communicant thereof, conduct- 
ing himself in a manner unworthy of a Christian, may, and 
ought to be, admonished by the minister and vestry of the 
parish or congregation ; and if such member persevere in 
such conduct, he shall be suspended, or expelled by the 
minister and vestry; in which case he may appeal to the 
ordinary, who shall have power to confirm or reject the 
sentence." 

This law gave rise to an opinion that the convention 
intended thereby to withdraw from the clergy those 
powers which the rubrics h;id given them of repelling 
unworthy communicants. Such, however, was not the 
fact ; but the discovery was ere long made that the uniting 
of the wardens and vestrymen with the clergy, in trying 



181 G.J IN VIRGINIA. , 257 

the case of an unworthy communicant, and administering 
discipline, was not in accordance with the rubrics; and 
therefore it was enacted that the minister alone should 
admonish or suspend an offending brother, "according to 
the rubric." Tlius ended the legislation of the Virginia 
church, on the delicate subject of lay discipline ; and it 
will be seen that it gradually found its way back pre- 
cisely to the point from which it set out ; furnishing thereby 
another attestation to the prudence, wisdom, and modera- 
tion of the excellent men, both abroad and at home, to 
whom the church is indebted for the " Book of Common 
Prayer." 

The impulse given to the church was exhibited during 
this year, in the fact that no less than ten new churches 
were reported as being in the progress of erection, or 
about to be built ; while eight of the old ones were under- 
going repairs. A society was also formed for the distri- 
bution of the prayer book and tracts ; and a fund was 
commenced for the support of the episcopate. This last 
measurewas one of much importance. Itwill be recollected 
that, at a former period, the bishop was required by canon 
to be a parish minister ; but long before this time it had 
been seen that the requisition was unwise. The vast ex- 
tent of territory within the jurisdiction of the bishop of 
Virginia covered about seventy thousand square miles, 
and to do justice to this immense region, required all the 
time of one man. It, therefore, was obviously desirable 
to release him from all duties but those which belonged 
to his episcopal office. The value of an arrangement, 
whereby he should be released from parochial duty, was, 
at this time, more sensibly felt, from an observation of the 
happy effects which followed upon his visitations : wher- 
ever he went, he diffused a portion of that zeal which in- 
spired his own labours, and in these labours no one could 
have been more abundant ; he traversed his diocess from 
north to south ; and, crossing the mountains more than 



258 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1818. 

once, his presence was both seen and felt east and west of 
the Blue Ridge. He was compelled to be a missionary, 
or see his diocess go backward. Churches began lo in- 
crease, and the laity were forward in the good work of 
restoring old edifices and building new ones, while the 
cry came to the ears of the bishop with a distressing fre- 
quency, (for it could not be answered,) "give us min- 
isters." 

Much, indeed, was done, but it was seen that more re- 
mained to be done. The prostration of the church was 
not the work of a day ; nor was its revival to be accom- 
plished in any short time. The want which was most 
severely felt, was that just alluded to, a want of clergy- 
men : the whole number now amounted to about thirty, 
while the parishes were much more numerous ; and, as 
was natural under such circumstances, the subject of 
theological education became daily one of increasing in- 
terest. Indeed, this topic, together with that of a fund for 
the support of the episcopate, were from this time onward 
more prominent than any other subjects brought before 
the church.* 

The history has already been given of the attempt made 
to introduce discipline, and of the final opinion that it 
was most judicious to leave the subject where it had been 
placed by the rubric concerning communicants ; but in 
the convention of 1818, it was deemed proper to put upon 
record, in the form of a recommendation rather than of an 
injunction, the solemn testimony of the convention against 
certain fashionable amusements, indulgence in which was 
viewed as inconsistent with the purity of the Christian 

* The fund for the support of the episcopate increased but slowly in Vir- 
ginia. Indeed, in all our diocesses such has been the fact. As an in- 
stance, however, of the interest felt by some in this matter, the fact is here 
recorded of a donation of one hundred dollars to the fund, made by the aged 
widow of the eiccellent Mr. Jarratt, who was for so many years a faithful 
labourer in the vineyard. 



1818.] IN VIRGINIA. 259 

character. The introduction of this proposition into the 
convention gave rise to much discussion, and several sug- 
gestions and amendments to the proposed measure were 
offered : it is, however, to be remarked, that all the amend- 
ments proposed recognised the principle that conformity 
to the world does not become the followers of Christ ; the 
difference was therefore simply as to the mode in which 
the church should express this principle to her members 
The resolution was finally adopted, by the unanimous 
vote of the clergy, and by seventeen out of twenty-six of 
the lay members, in the following terms: '-Whereas, dif- 
ferences of opinion prevail as to certain fashionable amuse- 
ments ; and it appears desirable to many that the sense of 
the convention should be expressed concerning them ; the 
convention does hereby declare its opinion, that gamingj 
attending on theatres, public balls, and horse racing, should 
be relinquished by all communicants of this church, as 
having the bad effects of staining the purity of the Christian 
character, of giving offence to their pious brethren, and of 
endangering their own salvation by their rushing volun- 
tarily into those temptations, against which they implore 
the protection of their heavenly Father ; and this conven- 
tion cherishes the hope that this expression of its opinion 
will be sufficient to produce conformity of conduct, and 
unanimity of opinion, among all the members of our com- 
munion." 

In the adoption of this resolution, the church in Virginia 
did no more than give back a faithful echo to the opinion 
expressed by the House of Bishops, in the general conven- 
tion of the previous year, that the amusements above enu- 
merated, " from their licentious tendency, as well as from 
the strong temptations to vice which they afford, ought 
not to be frequented" by the members of the church. 

But the incident for which this year is most remarkable, 
was the formation of an institution, from which the church, 
not of Virginia only, but in various parts of our country, 



260 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1818. 

has reaped benefits worthy of remembrance. This was 
the " Education Society." It began in what many will 
consider a fortunate accident ; the Ciiristian, however, will 
probably be disposed to think that the accident was God's 
design. In the year 1818, a number of clergymen, with 
several lay gentlemen of character and influence, had as- 
sembled at Georgetown, in the District of Columbia, to 
witness the services connected with the laying of the corner 
stone of an Episcopal church, then about to be erected. 
Among the gentlemen of the laity then present, there was 
one who had taken under his protection an indigent youth 
of piety, with the view of educating him for the Christian 
ministry, which he earnestly desired to enter. The topic 
of preparatory and theological education, as v/e have seen, 
was familiar to the minds of all the Churchmen of Vir- 
ginia ; and the case of this young man having led to an 
interchange of opinion, they found that all were ready for 
action. Accordingly, those present agreed to support the 
youth, whose case was before them, by their voluntary 
contributions ; and scarcely was this determined on, be- 
fore their minds were led to the reflection that there were 
probably many other young men whose situation was simi- 
lar to that of their newly adopted beneficiary: this thought 
gave rise to a suggestion, that a society might be advan- 
tageously formed for the purpose of educating any number 
of pious young men desirous of entering into the ministry 
of the Protestant Episcopal church. The suggestion was 
so favourably received, that the individuals present re- 
solved to meet shortly thereafter in the city of Washington, 
and form the society. They did meet, and the society was 
duly organized ; but little, indeed, did those concerned sup- 
pose that they were accompHshing a work so important 
as theirs has proved itself to be. They did not dare to an- 
ticipate the extensive results which have flowed from their 
€fibrt. As soon as the existence of the society was known, 
young men from various parts of the union sought and 



1818.] IN VIRGINIA. 261 

received its bounty. The plan adopted in the commence- 
meni of its operations was one, suited to what it was sup- 
posed would be the society's limited sphere of action. If 
an applicant required preparatory education, he was placed 
in some college most convenient to himself; and if ready 
to pursue his theological studies, he was commonly put 
under the supervision of the clergyman to whose congre- 
gation he belonged. The expenses in either case were 
defrayed by the society. This was not the most economi- 
cal mode of accomplishing the ends in view, and it was 
also liable to the objection that the beneficiaries were not 
brought under the superintendence and care of the execu- 
tive committee of the society. These considerations led 
to measures, (more fully detailed on a future page,) which 
contributed in part to a result not dreamed of in the 
fondest expectations of the society ; this was the establish- 
ment of the theological school at Alexandria. 

As our allusion to the society, hereafter, will be little 
more than incidental in pointing out what it has done for 
the theological seminary, it may be well here to dispose of 
its history. It has then steadily pursued its course of use- 
fulness, and commended itself to the atTectionate interest, 
and cordial support, of its friends, both in Virginia and 
elsewhere. In proof of this, it is only necessary to relate 
what it has done. Nearly one-tenth of the clergy, of the 
Protestant Episcopal church in the United States, have, in 
whole or in part, been assisted by this society. One-sixth 
of the present clergy of Ohio ; one-eighth of those of Penn- 
sylvania ; one-fifth of those of Maryland, and a large pro- 
portion of those in Virginia, have derived aid from its 
funds ; while it is now affording assistance to about one- 
seventh of all the students in the several theological 
schools of the church in the United States.* 

But to return from this digression. In the course 

* For these statements, the author is indebted to the secretary of the 
society. See them also in the " Southern Churchman," vol. i. pp. 33, 46. 



262 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1820. 

of the succeeding- year, a subject of much general in- 
terest was broiig:ht to the consideration of the Virginia 
church, which has subsequently been revived. It re- 
lated to the division of large diocesses. In the general 
convention of 1817, on the motion of one of the lay delega- 
tion from Virginia, an alteration vs^as proposed in the con- 
stitution of the church at large, whereby every state or 
territory of the United States might be made to constitute 
of itself, or in union with the whole, or certain portions of 
any other state or territory, one diocess ; or might be di- 
vided into two or more diocesses by the general conven- 
tion, with the consent of the local ecclesiastical authority, 
to be affected by such union or division. The subject of 
a division of Virginia had before this time been agitated, 
though it was never brought before the convention ; and 
this probably led to the alteration in the constitution which 
was now proposed. The voice of the church in Virginia, 
however, was against any division : the fear was, inas- 
much as it was also proposed to fix the representation of 
the diocesses in the general convention, in the proportion 
of one clerical deputy for every five clergymen, and one 
lay representative for every ten congregations in the dio- 
cess represented, that jealousies would be engendered be- 
tween the larger and smaller diocesses ; and, therefore, 
Virginia refused her sanction to the proposed alteration in 
the constitution. 

In the year 1820, the convention gladly availed itself of 
circumstances which seemed to present a favourable open- 
ino" to commence advantageously the work of clerical edu- 
cation. It has already been stated, that the attention of 
the church had been called by a communication from the 
president of William and Mary College, to the expediency 
of providing a fund for the support of the chair of theology 
in that institution. It seems that about this time there 
was a strong probability that a clerical professor would be 
appointed to take charge of any theological students who 
might desire his aid ; and as a valuable library of divinity 



1821.] IN VIRGINIA. 268 

(for which the college was much indebted to Doctors Blair 
and Bray) belonged to the institution the convention 
duly appreciating these favourable circumstances, recom- 
mended them to the attention of the members of the 
church ; and it is believed, that under the supervision of 
Doctor Keith, then a professor in the college, some few 
young gentlemen availed themselves of the advantages 
there aflbrded. 

This was, however, but the commencement of the work 
in the cause of theological education. In the succeeding 
year, the subject was brought forward in the report of the 
committee on the state of the church. The importance 
of retaininof within her own borders for education such of 
her sons as desired to devote themselves to the Christian 
ministry, was sensibly felt in Virginia. Indeed, a similar 
feeling is found now to prevail, in a greater or less degree, 
throughout the different parts of the confederacy. The 
best clergymen for the respective portions of our country 
are generally found to be natives of those portions ; and 
in some regions, climate presents a serious obstacle to the 
labours of any but natives. But when sent from home for 
education, in addition to the risk incurred of diminished 
local attachments by the formation of new ties and new 
associations, on the part of those thus sent abroad, there 
is another evil which is at present unavoidable : the de- 
mand for clergymen exceeds the supply, and consequently 
the student finds fields of labour which invite his entrance 
in various portions of an extensive country. If no peculiar 
circumstances call him back to his native state, he does 
not pause long to make his selection, but is apt to enter 
that which first solicits his labours, and it is often far dis- 
tant from the place of his birth. Hence the evil has been 
more than once complained of; and several of the dio- 
cesses have exerted themselves, and with success, to pro- 
vide the means of theological instruction within themselves. 
This measure, however, has not been adopted in a spirit 



264 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1823. 

of hostility towards the general seminary of the church at 
large; nor has it operated at all to impair its usefulness; 
on the contrary, tliat institution has steadily advanced ever 
since the diocesan seminaries have existed, and is now 
more prosperous than at any previous point of its history; 
nor is there any portion of the church which would inter- 
rupt that prosperity. But at the time of which we now 
write, fears were entertained of a different result. The 
right of any diocess to establish a seminary within its 
limits was never doubled ; but many questioned the expe- 
diency of a measure which they admitted to be lawful. 
Virginia was anxious not to be misunderstood in her course 
on this subject ; and, therefore, while she recommended 
the establishment of a theological school at Williamsburg, 
the seat of William and Mary, and appointed trustees to 
carry the recommendation into effect, by soliciting funds and 
appointing professors, she made also a formal declaration, 
that so far from meditating herein opposition to the general 
seminary, she cordiall)' desired to witness the prosperity 
of an institution so vitally connected with the reputation 
and interest of the church. Experience, it is believed, has 
long since removed all apprehensions of conflicting inter- 
ests between the seminaries, and the prosperity of both 
now calls for thankfulness. 

The measures adopted by the convention of 1821 met 
with a favourable reception from the members of the 
church. The appeal made to them by the trustees was so 
successful, that within a twelvemonth, more than ten thou- 
sand dollars were subscribed within the diocess: a consti- 
tution was adopted, by which, among other things, the 
seminary was placed under the direction of the conven- 
tion, and the course of study was made conformable to the 
directions of the House of Bishops. In 1823, the funds of 
the institution had been still more increased ; and an ex- 
amination of the list of contributors will show, that in pro- 
portion to the extent, both of numbers and means, no class 



1825.] IN VIRGINIA. 265 

was more liberal than the clergy; donations of valuable 
theological works had been made by individuals; and the 
first professorship had been filled by the appointment of 
the Rev. Dr. Keith. But the most important measure in 
the history of the institution, was its removal to Alexan- 
dria, which took place about this time. By this removal, 
the aid of the Rev. Dr. Wilmer and the Rev. Mr. Norris 
was secured in the work of instruction, and but a short 
time elapsed before eleven young men were enrolled as 
students of the infant seminary. And here it is proper to 
record the well-timed and acceptable help which the Edu- 
cation Society afforded, by a vote of several hundred dol- 
lars towards the payment of the professor's salary: indeed, 
it is not improbable that this vote of the society, together 
with its promised aid for the future, encouraged the church, 
more than any other circumstance, in fixing the seminary 
at Alexandria. 

The pledge thus given by the society had the happy 
effect of bringing the two institutions thus united con- 
spicuously before the members of the church, and hence 
they afforded to each other mutual aid. Pursuing its course 
of gradual prosperity, the Alexandria school increased in 
the number of its pupils, so that it was soon found neces- 
sary permanently to establish another professorship. The 
Rev. Edward Lippitt was appointed in 1825 to the chair 
of systematic theology, and it is believed that his salary 
has been entirely furnished from the funds of the Educa- 
tion Society ever since his appointment. But the import- 
ance of the society to the seminary was to be more fully ex- 
hibited still. In the purchase of the farm, near Alexandria, 
on which the buildings of the institution are placed, and in 
the erection of those buildings, several thousand dollars 
came, from the treasury of the Education Society; while 
it has never failed to redeem also its undertaking, publicly 
made, to afford assistance to every properly qualified ap- 

L I. 



866 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1825. 

plicant, seeking an education for the ministry of the Pro- 
testant Episcopal church. 

Of the present state of the seminary, it is gratifying to 
record the fact, that it never before was in so prosperous 
a condition. Within the past year, no less a sum than 
twelve thousand dollars has been given to it, by private 
contributions, for the purpose of founding a third professor- 
ship ; additional buildings have been erected, and instruc- 
tion has been afforded to thirty-two candidates for holy 
orders. But much still remains to be done, and it would 
be wrong to distrust Providence by the fear that this insti- 
tution will not be so provided for as greatly to enlarge its 
sphere of usefulness. It now stands, even in its present 
condition, an honourable monument to the piety and zeal 
of the Churchmen of Virginia, for it has derived but little 
aid out of the diocess in which it is placed. 



1825.] IN VIRGINIA. 207 



CHAPTER XIV. 

1825-1835. 

Difficulties arising from Bishop's Parochial Charge — Comparison of the 
Church in Northern Neck with its Condition a Century before — Churches 
devoted to secular purposes — Care of St. Paul's Parish, in King George 
county — Bishop Moore offers to pay half the Salary of an assistant Min- 
ister in the Monumental Church — Irregularity of Virginia Clergy in the 
Use of the Liturgy — Bishop Moore's Warning — Refusal of Virginia to 
agree to changes or alterations in the Use of the Common Prayer — 
Death of Dr. Wilmer — Bishop Moore proposes to the Convention to elect 
an assistant Bishop — Dr. Meade elected — Restriction on the Right of 
Succession — Proceedings of General Convention thereon — Dr. Meade's 
Consecration — Sketch of his Life — Virginia removes the Restriction on 
his succession — Conclusion. 

The exemption of the bishop from parochial cares was, 
as we have seen, an object of much sohcitude, which the 
increasing state of the church was not calculated to di- 
minish. A comparison of the condition of some parts of 
the diocess with their former state, will illustrate most 
strikingly the importance of leaving the bishop to look 
after his diocess alone ; and at the same time show the 
extent of the injury which the church had been called to 
sustain. 

In the year 1722, within the six counties of the northern 
neck, there were twelve parishes, and more than twelve 
churches and chapels,* all supplied with the ministrations 
of the Gospel. 

After the lapse of nearly one hundred years, what was 
the spectacle which the Northern Neck presented ? Over 
an extent of country, about one hundred miles long, and 
fifteen miles broad, every church and chapel had ceased 

* Vide ante, p. 84. 



268 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1825. 

to be used for sacred purposes. In pursuing the road 
through this district of Virginia to the Chesapeake, here and 
there might be seen sonrie sacred edifice, which still bore 
the appearance of a decent Christian temple. So compactly 
had it been built, that it was able to withstand the storms 
of half a century ; and the cause of its preservation is prob- 
ably to be found in the laborious toil which was necessary 
for its destruction. But in other and more numerous 
instances, unsightly heaps of ruins, which once were 
churches, met the eye, and everything in the vicinity 
wore an aspect of desolation. Such is not now, exactly, 
the picture presented, but churches in ruins are still com- 
mon enough in Virginia. 

Sometimes it happened that the buildings were by 
special acts of the legislature appropriated to other pur- 
poses. Thus, in the region of country alluded to above, 
the church of St. Paul's parish, in King George county, 
was converted into a schoolhouse, while the produce of the 
glebe was made a school fund for its support ; and this 
was done at the request of the inhabitants of the parish. 
After the church had been for some time used for purposes 
of education, the school fund, as usual, was mismanaged, 
and ceased to answer the end to which it was directed to be 
applied, the school was broken up, and the building began 
to exhibit symptoms of decay. The Episcopalians pe- 
titioned the legislature for the repeal of the act which had 
deprived them of the church ; and to the honour of those 
who were not Episcopalians, it should be mentioned that 
many of them joined with the members of the church in 
their application to the legislature. The petition was 
granted, the edifice was repaired ; and having been conse- 
crated to the service of God by the present bishop of Vir- 
ginia, it is now regularly frequented by a congregation of 
devout and attentive worshippers.* 

* MS. letter in the author's poasession, from one of the Virginia clergy. 



1825.] IN VIRGINIA. 269 

In consideration of the circumstances which have been 
related on our previous pages, it is not to be wondered at, 
that Bishop Moore, in the convention of 1825, should have 
signified to that body his intention to employ an assistant 
to aid him in the discharge of his duties as rector ofthe 
Monumental Church in Richmond, and expressed his readi- 
ness to pay one half of his salary out of his own purse. 
The convention, fully sensible that such a measure was 
absolutely necessary, from the great increase of episcopal 
duty, resolved, that when the bishop had obtained an as- 
sistant, he should communicate the fact to the several min- 
isters and vestries of the dioccss, and inform them of what 
would be required on their parts for his support. 

From some cause, which it would, perhaps, be difficult 
now to discover, an evil had gradually found its way 
into the practice of the clergy, which calls for our no- 
tice. The general tone of piety in the church of Virginia, 
both among the clergy and laity, was of a character so 
consistent with their professions of Christianity, that they 
had no need to shrink from a comparison, in this particu- 
lar, with any diocess in the Union ; but there was, notwith- 
standing, in the public ministrations of some of the clergy 
an irregularity which, at first view, may seem to be trivial , 
but which involves consequences of a very serious nature, 
so long as uniformity affords evidence of unity. The ir- 
regularity was to be found in the use of the liturgy; the 
rubrics, on this head, were not always regarded. There 
is, probably, no clergyman of the Episcopal church who 
does not feel contempt for the vulgar calumny, sometimes 
propagated, by those who ought to know better, that on no 
occasion can he pray without the use of the " Book of 
Common Prayer." In this particular, the clergy all under- 
stand the liberty which they possess ; and there is prob- 
ably not one who does not, on certain occasions, pray with- 
out the use of that book ; but there are other occasions on 
which he does not desire that liberty. These are occa- 



270 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1826. 

sions of public worship. It must not be understood that 
the liturgy was entirely laid aside by any of the Virginia 
clergy: all used some portions of it, but all did not use it 
according to the directions of the rubrics ; and the conse- 
quent inconvenience, to use the mildest term, induced the 
bishop to call attention to the subject. Reminding the 
clergy of the solemn promise of conformity to the rubrics, 
made by them before ordination, he forcibly depicted the 
effect upon devout vrorshippers, who, instead of following 
the fixed rules of the church, with which they were fa- 
miliar, found themselves embarrassed in their feelings, and 
disturbed in their devotions by the capricious practices of 
the clergyman in reading the services of the church. 

It would seem that this conduct of some few of the 
clergy (for they were few) had arisen, in the language of 
the bishop, " more from inconsideration than design ;" for 
the convention heartily responded to the sentiment ex- 
pressed by their diocesan, and recommended " to the min- 
isters a punctual observance of the rubrics, warning them 
of the danger of yielding to prejudices supposed to exist 
against the liturgy." 

There was the soundest wisdom in this warning : where 
,^ prejudices exist against the liturgy, or against anything 
else belonging to the church, (and, unfortunately, there are 
parts of the land where they are common enough,) the 
best mode of eradicating the prejudice will never be found 
to consist in yielding to its demands. The demands of 
prejudice are always insatiable ; no concessions ever yet 
satisfied it ; for concessions only foster its conceit of in- 
fallibility. 

Nothing of unusual interest is to be found in the records 
of the Virginia church for the year 1826 ; in that which im- 
mediately succeeded, however, we find evidence of a de- 
cided attachment to the liturgy. In the general convention 
of 1826, a proposition was made and agreed to in the House 
of Bishops, to introduce certain changes in the use of the 



1826.] IN VIRGINIA. 271 

liturgy, as follows : — The minister was to be permitted, in- 
stead of the portion of the Psalter, appointed for the day, to 
read any psalm or psalms which he chose to select, except 
on those days for which " proper psalms" were appointed : 
a wide discretion was also allowed the minister in the 
reading of the other parts of the Scripture in the daily 
service ; thus, instead of the entire lessons, he might read 
suitable portions thereof, not less than fifteen verses ; and 
the use of what is ordinarily termed the aw^e-communion, 
was enjoined on all Sundays and other holy days. It is 
worthy of remark, that in the zeal which led the bishops 
so earnestly to labour for uniformity in the use of the ante- 
communion, they should not have perceived that they were 
paying for it by the destruction of that very uniformity 
which they were so sedulously guarding. It was of very 
little moment whether different practices prevailed in dif- 
ferent churches, with reference to the use of the ante-com- 
munion, or to the use of the psalms and lessons : of the two 
evils, the entire omission of the ante-communion service is 
probably less than would be the capricious selection of 
psalms or lessons by the officiating clergyman. This 
proposition, however, which certainly threatened the most 
dangerous innovation on the liturgy that the church has 
yet seen, was sent to the House of Clerical and Lay Dele- 
gates, and by joint action of the two houses, was submitted 
to the several diocesan conventions pursuant to the pro- 
visions of the constitution.* 

Bishop Moore was prevented by sickness from attend- 
ing the general convention of 1826, and of course took no 
part in the measures touching the liturgy, which have just 
been presented. In his address, however, to his own con- 
vention, in 1827, he betrays the anxiety of his mind on the 
truly momentous question of a change in the liturgy. " The 
church," says he, " has hitherto prospered in the use of the 

* Journals of General Convention, 1826. 



272 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1828. 

liturgy, as it has been handed down to us by our fathers. 
That uniformity of worship which has distinguished us as 
a society, should the proposed alterations be carried into 
effect, will be destroyed : the public worship of God will 
be as various as the constitutions of our minds. To touch 
a matter of so much consequence without the deepest re- 
flection — to alter a service of such acknowledged worth, 
without years of consideration, should not be ventured on. 
The church in Virginia will never be induced, I trust and 
pray, to depart from her prescribed forms ; but will defend 
the liturgy in all its integrity, and prove to the Christian 
world that we reverence the opinions of our fathers, and 
are satisfied with that system of doctrine which they vene- 
rated, and which they so highly valued."* 

These sentiments met with the cordial approbation of 
the laity and clergy of Virginia ; and long may they con- 
tinue to do so ; for, whenever that period comes, in which 
there shall be found in the church a spirit of innovation, 
ready to tamper rashly with the liturgy, or a spirit of in- 
difference, ready to countenance such rashness, the time 
will also have arrived in which men may see the first 
movements of her departing glory. 

This year witnessed, also, the interest felt in Virginia 
towards a general institution of the church, then but re- 
cently established, now greatly enlarged, and still grow- 
ing into an increasing importance. This was the Pro- 
testant Episcopal Sunday School Union, which had been 
founded by the general convention of 1826. The com- 
mittee on the state of the Virginia church in 1827, brought 
it to the notice of the convention ; and it was by that body 
recommended to the churches throughout the diocess. 

The annual meeting of the clergy and laity in 1828 was 
marked by the absence of one who for many years had 
been seen in the counsels of the church in the diocess, as 

* Journal of Virginia Convention of 1827. 



1828.] IN VIRGINIA. 273 

well as in those of the general church. He was one who 
had so much aided in the revival of the church in Virginia, 
that he well deserved honourable remembrance. Doctor 
Wilmer, who for many years had been a delegate from 
Virginia to the general convention, and who had long sat as 
president of the House of Clerical and Lay Delegates, had 
been called to rest from his earthly labours. There was, 
probably, no gentleman of the clergy in the diocess whose 
loss would have been more deeply lamented. " He was," 
says Bishop Moore, " a man of business and of piety. He 
loved his God, and the interest of the church was near his 
heart. As a preacher, he was faithful, energetic, eloquent. 
Like the Apostle Paul, he not only taught his people pub- 
licly, but went from house to house exhorting them to pre- 
pare to meet their God." 

The respect of the convention for the memory of this 
faithful and excellent clergyman, was attested by the mem- 
bers wearing mourning during the session which next suc- 
ceeded his death, and for some time thereafter. 

The circumstance, however, which gave most import- 
ance to the convention of 1828 was this: Bishop Moore, 
then in the sixty-seventh year of his age, felt admonished 
by the fact, that, though as yet the infirmities of age had 
not disabled him from labour, or compelled him to diminish 
aught of his allotted annual task, yet that it would be 
wise to make provision for the consecration of some gen- 
tleman of the clergy as his suffragan, or assistant bishop. 
The bishop, therefore, brought forward the subject in his 
annual address, and expressed his earnest desire, should it 
meet with the views of the convention, that an assistant 
bishop should be appointed while their diocesan yet re- 
mained ; that in the hour of his departure, he might have, 
at least, the satisfaction of knowing the individual who was 
to carry on the work which God had so far prospered in 
his hands. 

There was, however, an obstacle in the way, to Tfhich 

M M 



274 PROTESTANT liPISCOPAL CHURCH [l829r 

the bishop alluded. The constitution of the church in Vir- 
ginia expressly declared, in one of its articles, that there 
should " be but one bishop" to superintend its concerns. 
Before, therefore, a suffragan or assistant could be elected, 
it became necessary to alter the constitution, and for this, 
the interval of a year was necessary. The committee to 
whom the subject was referred reported that the contem- 
plated officer was needed, and recommended the neces- 
sary measures for effecting the desired change in the con- 
stitution, and thus the matter remained until 1829. 

In this year, the convention assembled at Charlotteville, 
and as it was supposed that business of more than ordinary 
importance would come before the body, the attendance 
was numerous, both on the part of the clergy and laity : 
the bishop, however, was prevented by illness from being 
present. It has already been stated, that the opinions of 
the diocesan, on the subject of a change in the liturgy, met 
with the hearty approbation of the convention ; and at this 
meeting, (as a general convention was to come together be- 
fore another annual assemblage of the clergy and laity of 
Virginia,) the delegates to the general convention were in- 
structed to use their exertions to prevent any of the pro- 
posed changes in the use of the Book of Common Prayer. 
After the formation of a diocesan missionary society, the 
convention proceeded to the consideration of the proposed 
alteration in the constitution, without which, as we have 
seen, no suffragan or assistant bishop could be elected. A 
large majority of the convention was found to be favour- 
able to the change, when the following resolution was pre- 
sented, and finally adopted by a vote of fifty against thir- 
teen : " Resolved, that this convention deem it expedient, 
considering the age and bodily infirmity of our most ven- 
erated bishop, to proceed to the election of an assistant 
bishop, who is not to be considered as entitled to the succes- 
sion^ but that it shall be the right and duty of the conven- 
tion of the diocess of Virginia, on the demise of our ven- 



1829.] IN VIRGINIA. 275 

erated bishop, to proceed to the election of a principal 
bishop, as a successor to the said deceased bishop." 

The precise ground on which tiie convention proceeded 
in withholding the right of succession from the assistant, 
it would, perhaps, be diOicult distinctly to specify: it was 
deemed expedient to do so ; and the right of the Virginia 
church to pursue this course, seems to have been unques- 
tioned by a very large majority. Under the resolution 
the Rev. William Meade, D.D., was nominated by an 
almost unanimous vote of the clergy, (two only out of 
twenty-seven having deposited blanks,) and the nomina 
tion was approved by the laity without a dissentient voice : 
he was therefore declared to be duly elected. 

The case of a diocess, having a bishop and an assistant, 
was not without precedent in the Episcopal church in the 
United States. Such examples had occurred, but they 
were few, and hence resulted the difficulty of clearly de- 
fining the respective duties of the diocesan and his assist- 
ant ; or of guarding against a conflict in the exercise of 
episcopal power. The delegation from Virginia was, 
therefore, instructed to bring the subject before the general 
convention, that the number of bishops which a diocess 
might have should be settled ; and that the circumstances 
might be prescribed under which a suffragan or an assist- 
ant might be chosen. The convention then proceeded to 
sign the testimonial of the newly elected bishop. 

We must now direct our attention to the general con- 
vention of 1829. The election of Dr. Meade having been 
made within one year before the meeting of that body, the 
consideration of the case came before it, under the pro- 
visions of the constitution, and there underwent a discus- 
sion of some days continuance. Before we enter upon 
the views which were entertained, it is due to Dr. 
Meade to remark that no speaker expressed himself in any 
terms but those of the utmost respect towards the bishop 
elect. His worth and fitness were not questioned ; but * 



376 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1829. 

matter of principle was supposed to be involved in the 
restriction put upon the right of succession. 

The argument against the consecration turned chiefly 
upon constitutional objections. It was, in substance, that 
the constitution did not contemplate the possibility of a 
bishop without a diocess ; and that, according to the spirit of 
that instrument, it was at variance with the system of epis- 
copacy, (as received by the Protestant Episcopal church in 
the United States, associated under that constitution,) not to 
guard against the possibility of such an event in the church, 
as that of a bishop at large. It was said that Virginia had 
not the right to impose any such restriction; and on this 
head an argument was deduced from the state of the church 
under the several colonial governments ; when, notwith- 
standing the distinct rule exercised over the several colo- 
nies, the church was one, and but one, united under its 
only diocesan, the Bishop of London. That, consequently, 
after the revolution, it continued to be one, and was not 
made up of many independent churches then coming into 
union for the first time, and reserving certain rights while 
they surrendered others. How far this opinion is correct, 
may be learned from some of our previous pages.* Cer- 
tain it is, that the church in Virginia (whatever may be 
the proper theory on the subject) always was in her 
practice independent, and deemed herself at liberty to act 
accordingly, up to the period when she gave her assent to 
the great charter of union. In fact, (as was correctly re- 
marked in the course of the discussion,) our ecclesiastical 
legislature was here perplexed with the same delicate and 
intricate question which has been so much agitated in the 
halls of civil legislation: state sovereignty and the powers 
of the general government came into collision. 

It was also contended, that to impose the restrictions 
under discussion, was a deviation from the general course 

♦ Vide ante, pp. 179, 184, 185, 190. 



1829.] IN VIRGINIA. 277 

pursued relative to coadjutors or assistant bishops. In- 
stances might indeed be adduced to the contrary, and 
some too in very early times ; but these are to be deemed 
exceptions to the rule. 

On grounds of policy, also, it was agreed that a restric- 
tion upon the succession was to be deprecated. Factious 
and ambitious presbyters would be tempted to raise parties 
for themselves, in opposition to those possessed of an epis- 
copate, the exercise of which was to cease upon the death 
of the diocesan: and laymen of influence, it was said, (if 
such restriction was countenanced,) might be led to im- 
pose it for the purpose of keeping a temporary bishop in 
subjection to their control, and thereby destroying his in- 
dependence. 

The result of the deliberations and discussions in the 
House of Clerical and Lay Delegates was, that the testimo- 
nials of Dr. Meade were signed by a majority of the mem- 
bers, and sent up to the House of Bishops. Before, how- 
ever, that body proceeded to the consecration, it sent down 
to the lower house a declaration, as follows : " The bishops 
cannot proceed to this important measure without declaring 
their disapprobation of the provision in the election of Dr. 
Meade, which prevents immediate succession to the epis- 
copacy, on the decease of the present bishop of the diocess. 
Nevertheless, this being a new case, in questions of conse- 
cration in the church, in this country, the bishops, enter- 
taining no doubt of Dr. Meade's succeeding to the dio- 
cesan episcopacy, in the event of his surviving of the pres- 
ent bishop, have not permitted the preceding consideration 
to be a bar to his consecration. But they cannot proceed 
to it without declaring unanimously their determination, 
nor without recommending to the future members of this 
house, now that the peculiarities of this case will have 
ceased, not to give such further countenance to the innova- 
tion, as might be construed to bind it on the church to her 
lasting injury." And with this protestando, the bishops 



278 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1829. 

proceeded to the consecration, •which took place in Phila- 
delphia, on the nineteenth of August, 1829. 

Wilham Meade, D.D., assistant bishop of Virginia, was 
born in Frederick county, Virginia, on the eleventh of No- 
vember, 1789. His father was Major R. K. Meade, one 
of the aids of General Washington during the war of the 
revolution. His mother was a woman of eminent piety ; 
and to her early instruction, under God, does the bishop 
ascribe his own religious character, and subsequent devo- 
tion to the ministry. Until the age of ten years, when, for 
the first time, he went to school, he was educated entirely 
by his mother : at this school he remained until he reached 
the age of seventeen, when he was sent to Princeton Col- 
lege. Here he continued until 1809, when he completed 
his course of study. During his residence at college, the 
fruit of an early religious education exhibited itself in an 
increase of all his previous impressions, and a resolution to 
devote himself to the ministry of the Episcopal church, in 
which he had been baptized and trained, and to which his 
parents belonged. After leaving college, he spent some 
time in reading, with a view to the ministry, with a pious 
and excellent clergyman, the Rev. Walter Addison of Mary- 
land. In the fall of 1809 he returned to Princeton, with 
the view of enjoying more advantages in the prosecution 
of his studies than he could procure in Maryland. In this 
purpose, however, he was disappointed, for in a few days 
after his arrival he became sick, and continued so for some 
weeks. As soon as he became convalescent, and was able 
to travel, he returned to Virginia, so that he never pursued 
his theological studies at Princeton. He, however, prose- 
cuted them in private until March, 1811, when he was or- 
dained deacon by Bishop Madison in Williamsburg. He 
immediately commenced his ministry among his relations, 
in the place of his nativity, where he had been officiating 
as a lay reader for more than half a year preceding. In 
the autumn of that year, he accepted an invitation to Christ 



1829.J IN VIRGINIA. 279 

Church, Alexandria, where he remained eighteen nnonths, 
and then returned to his congregation in Frederick county, 
of which he has ever since been rector. The bishop has 
of necessity been much of an itinerant in his n)inistry, and 
without having been so, his services had been less valuable 
than they were in resuscitating the church. He is still in 
the vigour of his days, and of his usefulness, and pos- 
sesses a persevering industry, which promises much for the 
cause of religion. 

It will be remembered that the convention of Virginia 
had directed its delegates to bring before the general con- 
vention the subject of assistant bishops, with the view of 
settling the point as to the number of bishops which any 
diocess might have. Without any direct agency on the 
part of the representatives of Virginia to produce this 
end, the circumstances of Dr. Meade's case presented 
forcibly to the general convention the fact that some legis- 
lation was necessary. Accordingly a canon was passed, 
giving in all cases the right of succession to an assistant 
bishop, who should survive the diocesan ; and permitting 
the election of one assistant whenever the bishop of a dio- 
cess became " unable, by reason of old age, or other per- 
manent cause of infirmity, to discharge his episcopal 
duties." 

When the convention of 1830 assembled, the subject 
came again under discussion ; and the course pursued by 
that body, representing, as it did, one of the most important 
diocesses in the Union, was one which did honour to Vir- 
ginia ; while at the same time it illustrated the happy 
effects which flow from prudent counsels. Had matters 
been pushed to an extreme in the general convention of 
1829, and consecration being refused to Dr. Meade, on the 
ground merely that he was excluded from the succession, 
while it was admitted that his piety and talents entitled 
him to the place which he had been selected to fill, and 
while his elevation was desired almost unanimously by the 



280 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH [1829. 

Churchmen of Virginia, the consequences must have been 
of a most serious character, and fatal to the harmony and 
union of the church. Virginia, probably, never would have 
submitted to the decision: but the course pursued was one 
which, wisely guarding against the introduction of a dan- 
gerous precedent, compromised no principle, and still grati- 
fied Virginia in all that she asked : it inflicted no wound on 
the feelings of the excellent gentleman who had been elected 
assistant bishop, and left the diocess untouched, in the atti- 
tude of independence which she had assumed. It was a ju- 
dicious course ; and, as usual, the church is indebted for it 
to the wisdom, the prudence, and calm thought of the ven- 
erated man whom God has so long preserved to watch over 
the infancy of the American Episcopal church, and to assist 
in laying securely its foundations : the prelate who thinks 
wisely, because he thinks dispassionately. Bishop White 
drew up the protestation which has already been spread 
upon our pages. 

By adopting this course, the surest method was hit upon 
of accomplishing all that the general convention desired in 
the establishmcntof an important principle; and of inducing 
Virginia, by her own voluntary act, to bring herself within 
the operation of that principle, though she had previously 
rejected it. It was an appeal made to the generous feel- 
ings of the members of the Virginia convention ; and it 
was not made in vain ; for in the convention of 1829, a 
resolution was adopted, in the following terms : " Whereas, 
the general convention of the Protestant Episcopal church 
in the United States have, by the fifth canon of 1820, pro- 
vided that every assistant bishop, who may hereafter be 
elected in the said church, shall be in all cases entitled to 
succeed the bishop of the diocess in which he may be 
elected ; and, whereas, the convention is desirous of pre- 
serving, as far as possible, the harmony and uniformity of 
the church, and of testifying its confidence in the assistant 
bishop of this diocess : therefore, resolved, that the restric- 



1835.] IN VIRGINIA. 281 

tion annexed to the election of the assistant bishop of Vir- 
ginia, be hereby removed." 

If fidelity in the discharge of duty, and unwearied per- 
severance be desirable qualities in a bishop, and may be 
deemed sufficient to entitle him to exercise the episcopal 
office while he lives, then the removal of the restrictions 
on Bishop Meade's right to succession may be placed on 
the ground of simple equity. His reports, made annually 
to the convention, show that he is " in journeyings often ;" 
and he is very far from belonging to the class of " un- 
preaching prelates." 

In 1832, the assistant bishop, besides discharging a full 
share of duties in his own diocess, visited, by request, both 
the infant diocesses of Kentucky and Tennessee. This 
labour occupied three months, and contributed in no small 
measure to forward the complete organization of those dio- 
cesses ; both of which are now supplied with episcopal 
services by their respective bishops. 

But little remains to be added to our narrative. The 
present condition of the church in Virginia is one of grati- 
fying prosperity. With more than one hundred churches, 
some of them the fruit of reviving zeal in parishes which 
once flourished, but have long been almost dead, the dio- 
cess now numbers more than seventy clergymen; and 
with a missionary fund, unemployed in part, because mis- 
sionaries are not to be had, the diocess is labouring to sup- 
ply in some measure its necessities, by means of its semi- 
nary at Alexandria. Of this institution, it is only necessary 
to remark, in addition to what has already been said, that 
it has afforded instruction during the last three years to 
sixty candidates for orders, and has given thirty-six clergy- 
men to the church. 

Not to bear testimony, in conclusion, to the zeal and 
piety of our Virginia brethren, both of the clergy and laity, 
would be to prove a traitor to the cause of worth and good- 
ness; which surely deserve honourable notice, none the 



N N 



282 PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN VIRGINIA. [1835. 

less because they do not stoop to seek it. The author of 
these sheets, in taking leave of a subject which has, at in- 
tervals, for a long time engaged his thoughts and occupied 
his pen, hopes to be pardoned, should he indulge the ex- 
pression of personal and national feeling: he cannot leave a 
topic which, if it has brought some labour, has also brought 
more pleasure, without tendering to southern brethren the 
affection of a southern man's heart ; who, while he loves all, 
yet holds it no sin to prefer some. His affection may at 
times have blinded his judgment ; but that affection will 
not diminish the fervour of the prayer which he offers, that 
while prospered of Heaven, the Churchmen of Virginia 
may not forget that prosperity brings danger with it; and 
that in their own past history, the lesson is written, that 
abused prosperity is apt to find its corrective, sooner or 
later, in the purifying touch of persecution. 



THE END. 



[Note A, page 64.] 

THE LOYALTY OF VIRGINIA. 

It was not until recently that the loyalty of Virginia, immediately be- 
fore and during the protectorate, was questioned. In the reference to this 
note, the author, it will be seen, classes the last writer on American history 
with those who have intimated doubts on this subject. It would be doing 
great injustice to Mr. Bancroft, not to acknowledge the merit of his work. 
It is especially valuable for its references to early authorities. The labour 
of research, in the preparation of the published volume of the "History of the 
United States," must have been great ; and the author of this note thinks 
that he can appreciate it, because he has had to encounter a similar task. 
Almost every rare and early tract or volume referred to by Mr. Bancroft 
had been examined by the author of this book ; and, therefore, in the 
perusal of Mr. Bancroft's volume, he found himself on familiar ground. To 
the general accuracy of that volume, and the propriety of its references, the 
present writer bears cheerful testimony. Feeling some American pride in 
Mr. Bancroft's book, as being decidedly superior to anything yet written on 
the subject of this country, the author regretted to find that he seemed to 
doubt what appeared (to him at least) capable of proof as an historical fact, 
most honourable to Virginia, and affording the only key to a solution of 
some of the peculiarities both of individual and national character. In an 
interview with Mr. Bancroft, (had since the page referring to this note was 
printed,) it was with no little gratification the writer heard him disclaim the 
intention of representing Virginia as wanting in loyalty ; under such cir- 
cumstances, he of course retracts his observations on Mr. Bancroft's sup- 
posed mistake. Having said thus much, as an act of justice to the author 
of the History of the United States, the evidence which, to the mind of the 
writer, established the fact of the loyalty of Virginia, and which it was 
originally intended should alone constitute this note, is subjoined. 

1. The uniform testimony of all the first historians of Virginia. The 
question, it must be remembered, was one of fact, and evidence upon that 
fact must have been afforded the one way or the other, in the everyday 
intercourse of life. It would, therefore, seem strange that a mistake on the 
subject should be made, and perpetuated without discovery, until modern 
times. Those who lived nearest to the time, and wrote upon the subject, 
could not, without contradiction, have asserted the fact to be one way, when 



284 NOTr;. 

all around them knew it to be otherwise. The presumption, therefore, is 
in favour of the correctness of the early historians. 

2. The known state of the colony at that time, with reference to the char- 
acter of its population. Beyond all dispute, Berkley, the governor, was a 
devoted adherent to the royal family. The cavaliers at home looked upon 
the colony of Virginia as their place of refuge, and the land in which they 
might indulge all their feelings of loyalty without stint or apprehension. 
One of them gives this account of the matter. After relating the death of 
the king, he proceeds — 

" The sad prospect of affairs in this juncture, gave such a damp to all the 
royal party who had resolved to persevere in the principle which engaged 
them in the war, that a very considerable number of nobility, clergy, and 
gentry so circumstanced, did fly from their native country." " Of the num- 
ber who chose to steer their course for America, such of them as inclined 
to try their fortunes at Surinam, Barbadoes, Antigua, and the Leeward 
Islands, were to be men of the first rate, who wanted not money or credit," 
&c., &c. The writer himself being, as he states, " nearly related to Sir 
William Barkeley the governor," on that account came with his com- 
panions to Virginia. The same writer informs us thai Berkley " showed 
great respect to all the royal party who made that colony their refuge. His 
house and purse were open to all that were so qualified :" and the fact is 
put beyond dispute, that the stanch old loyalist kept up a correspondence 
with the king ; for the very writer, from whom we quote, was himself sent 
over at Berkley's expense, to find out the king in Holland, and have an 
interview with him. — See J^orwood^s Journal of a Voyage to Virginia ; 
6 Churchiirs Collection of Voyages^ 145. It is evident, then, that the 
cavaliers were strong in Virginia. At the commencement of the civil wars 
in England, the population of Virginia was about twenty thousand. — See 
1 Holmes^s Annals, 315. It will not be disputed that of these, a proportion, 
at least, was attached to the reigning family. Let it be supposed to be one 
half; it probably was more. At the restoration, the population of Virginia, 
from the influx of cavaliers, (few others had any reason to come,) amounted 
to thirty thousand. — See 1 Holmes, 315. Here, then, is an increase of 
ten thousand ; add it to the one half of the former population, and the nu- 
merical strength will be on the side of the loyalists : add but the half of this 
increase, and parties are equally balanced ; so that Virginia can not be pro- 
nounced to be either republican or loyal. Are not the probabilities all on the 
side of there being in the colony a majority of cavaliers ? If such was the 
fact, Virginia must have been loyal. 

3, Berkley remained in the colony, keeping up a correspondence with the 
king, as we have seen, and the records of that day show the names of many, 
high in oflSces of trust and profit, who are known to have been cavaliers. 
There must have been a lamentable scarcity of men of a diiferent stamp, 
which would hardly have been the case, had a majority been commonwealth 



NOTE. 285 

men ; or, if the majority were commonwealth men, we must admit that they 
entertained a singular preference for officers to whose political opinions they 
were bitterly opposed. Be this however as it may, it cannot reasonably be 
supposed that there was not a perfect understanding between Berkley and 
the leading cavaliers ; and if so, then all were in correspondence with the 
king. Couple this with two well-known facts, viz. that Berkley never left 
the colony, (though the right to do so within a year was saved to him by the 
treaty of surrender,) and that, the protector having died in September, 1658, 
and the governor of Virginia soon after, Berkley was immediately appointed 
governor in January, 1659. It matters not whether this appointment was 
made upon the demand of a tumultuous assemblage, as the early historians say, 
or not : one thing is certain, that it could not have been made, had a tumul- 
tuous assemblage opposed it. We must consequently admit, that the people 
understood the matter and were content ; or we must suppose that in their 
ignorance they followed their leaders — these leaders must have been loyal- 
ists ; and in either case, the political character of the colony must have been 
loyal. As to this matter of the tumultuous assemblage, a word of remark 
may not be misplaced. It seems to be the particular most questioned, be- 
cause it apparently contradicts existing records. Mr. Hening, in the Statutes 
at Large, (the best History of Virginia, by-the-way, which has yet been 
written,) doubts it, because he finds Berkley elected precisely as the other 
governors had been in Virginia, during the protectorate. It is admitted ; but 
is by no means inconsistent with the fact of a multitude having demanded 
of him to take upon him his old office of governor. There may have been 
a popular call to office, but not a popular election. That in the unsettled 
state of the times was left to go on in the old mode, and probably because it 
was well known, that those who were to make it were cavaliers, and conse- 
quently ready enough to elect him whom the multitude preferred. Berkley 
himself looked upon his election as one made in the exigency of circum- 
stances, and did not consider himself as in, of his old official appointment. 
The truth seems to be, that there was a temporizing policy pursued in this 
matter, which was founded on existing circumstances. Oliver Cromwell was 
(]ead — Richard had succeeded him. During Oliver's life, there was no prospect 
of the restoration of the king, and Virginia submitted, however reluctantly : 
but was Richard to prove an Oliver ? This was a question which time only 
could determine. If he did, then Virginia had nothing to do but continue 
her former submission : if he did not, then Virginia was very willing to 
place herself in a position in which she might advantageously raise the 
standard of royalty. She elected Berkley in the old mode; that suited the 
commonwealth, if the commonwealth continued. Berkley had also the royal 
commission, and no other man in the colony had ; this gave the cavaliers a 
vantage ground on which to stand, should the commonwealth cease, and an 
auspicious time arrive for unfurling the standard of the king. May not con- 
siderations like these have operated in that day I On this theory, the seem- 



286 NOTE. 

ing contradiction of the records of that day may all be harmonized. Accord- 
ing to the view of Berkley himself, though elected by the assembly, (and, 
therefore, in one sense their servant,) neither he nor they had any power be- 
yond that which the necessity of the times forced some one to exercise. 
Writing to Governor Stuyvesant, he says, " I am but a servant of the As- 
sembly ; neither do they arrogate any power to themseh'es, further than the 
miserable distractions of England force them to. For when God shall be 
pleased in his mercy to take away and dissipate the unnatural divisions of 
their native country, they will immediately return to their own professed 
obedience." — 1 Smithes J^ew- York, 11. 

4. Cromwell always viewed Virginia with suspicion : and the text fur- 
nishes an instance of it, in the reproof with which he visited them for their 
kindness to Maryland. 

5. Contemporaries, actors in the scenes, residents in Virginia, have left 
behind them their testimony, and it has come down to us to prove the loyalty 
of Virginia. We have already mentioned in the text that, after the restora- 
tion, when Sir William Berkley was called home on a visit, by the king, a 
pamphlet was presented to the Bishop of London, which it is supposed 
was prepared by direction of Berkley : it is entitled " Virginia's Cure, an 
advisive Narrative concerning Virginia," &c., &c., and was printed in 
1G61. In a passage, quoted in the text, the author (who was himself in Vir- 
ginia) states, that the naval force of the parliament " had reduced the colony 
under the power {but never to the obedience) of the usurpers." And as a 
proof of it, in part, he states that " the people generalli/ bear a great love to 
the stated constitutions of the Church of England in her government and 
public worship ;" and the especial claim of Virginia to the kind and prompt 
attention of his lordship, is urged upon the ground that, " in the late times of 
our church's persecution, her people alone cheerfully and joyfully embraced, 
encouraged, and maintained the orthodox ministers that went over to them 
in their public conformity to the Church of England in her doctrine and 
stated manner of public worship." A part of that public worship included 
a prayer for the king, the use of which was, indeed, prohibited by one of the 
articles of the surrender, but which the language of our authority would 
justify us in supposing was, notwithstanding, used, particularly as we know 
that other articles of the surrender were disregarded. Another contempo- 
rary publication, to which we have referred in the text, is explicit on the 
subject. The book is entitled " Leah and Rachell ; or, the two fruitfull 
Sisters of Virginia and Maryland," printed in 1656. It was written by 
John Hammond, who lived in both colonies, and in fact gives the first con- 
temporary history which was written of the subjugation of Virginia by the 
parliamentary commissioners. Speaking of Virginia, during the protecto- 
rate, his words are, "Virginia being whole for monarchy." 

Upon the testimony herein presented, the author has considered the fact 
of Virginia's loyalty as one which is sustained by sufficient evidence. 



JOURNALS 



CONVENTIONS 



PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH 



DIOCESS OF VIRGINIA. 



PROM 1785 TO 183 5, INCLUSIVE. 



JOURNALS 

OF THE 

CONVENTIONS 

OF THE 

PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN VIRGINIA, 

FROM THE YEAR 1785 TO THE PRESENT DAY. 



AN ACT FOR INCORPORATING THE PROTESTANT 
EPISCOPAL CHURCH. 

"Whereas the Clergy of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church, by their petition presented, have 
requested that their church may be incorporated. 
Be it enacted by the General Asscmbhj, That 
every minister of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church, now holding a parish within this com- 
monwealth, either by appointment from a vestry 
or induction from a governor, and all the ves- 
trymen in the different parishes now instituted, 
or which hereafter may be instituted, within this 
commonwealth, that is to say, the minister and 
vestrymen of each parish respectively, or, in case 
of a vacancy, the vestry of each parish, and 
their successors for ever, are hereby made a 
body corporate and politic, by the name of the 
minister and vestry of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in the parish where they respectively 
reside ; and by the name, style, and title afore- 
said, they and their successors shall for ever 
lawfully have, hold, use, and enjoy all and every 
tract or tracts of glebe-land already purchased, 
the churches and chapels already built, with the 
burying-grounds belonging to them, and such as 
were beo-un and contracted for before the first 
day of January, in the year 1777, for the use of 
the parishes, with their hereditaments and apper- 
tenances, and all books, plate, and ornaments 
appropriated to the use of, and every other thing 
the property of the late established church, to 
the sole and only proper use and benefit of the 
Protestant Episcopal Churcr. m the parish where 
the respective ministers and vestries reside (ex- 
cept the glebe in the county of Augusta ; the 
rents or jirofits arising from which that are now 
due, or that shall become due, until a sufficient 
number of the professors of the church now in- 
corporated by this act shall be formed into a 
society in the said county, shall be, by the over- 
seers of the poor, applied to the repairing the 
church and churchyard, and for the support 
of the poor of the said county), and where 
the property is situate and being, agreeable to 
the true intent for which it was purchased or 
given ; and by the name, style, and title afore- 
said, they shall be capable in law to hold, main- 
tain, and recover all their estates, rights, and 



privileges, and to sue and be sued, plead and be 
empleaded, answer and be answered unto, de- 
fend and be defended, in all suits, controversies, 
causes, actions, matters, and things, in any court 
or courts of law or equity whatsoever, and shall 
have one common seal and perpetual succession. 
Provided always and be il further enacted., That 
in all proceedings of the-aforesaid ministers and 
vestries, all matters shall be decided by a major- 
ity of voles, and the minister shall in no case 
have a negative on the proceedings of the said 
corporation, except where his vote shall be with 
or make a majority of the votes present at any 
meeting of the said corporation. 

And be it further enacted, That the respective 
incorporated ministers and vestries of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church shall have full power, 
good right, and lawful authority, to have, take, 
receive, acquire, purchase, use, and enjoy lands, 
tenements, and hereditaments, and all goods and 
chattels, and to demise, alien, improve, and lease 
(glebe-lands intended for the minister's resi- 
dence excepted, and those to lease and improve 
during a vacancy) the said lands, tenements, and 
hereditaments, and to use and im^ove such 
goods and chattels to the use and benefit of the 
said church within their respective parishes, 
not to exceed eight hundred pounds yearly rent 
or income, any law, usage, or custom to the 
contrary notwithstanding : And that it shall be 
lawful for the said ministers and vestries of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church to apply any goods 
or chattels belonging to the said church, to the 
purpose of erecting or repairing churches, or 
building or repairing dwelling or other house:; 
for the use of their ministers, or school-houses, 
as they shall from time to time think necessary 
within their respective parishes. 

AjuI be it further enacted. That the minister, or, 
in case of absence or vacancy, the church-war- 
dens, shall call a meeting of the incorporated 
body as often as it shall be deemed needful, and 
seven of the said body shall be a sufficient num- 
ber to constitute a meeting for the despatch of 
business, and shall have power, except in cases 
of demising, alienation, or leasing, in which 
cases a concurrence of a majority of the whole 
shall be necessary to make such rules and or- 
ders for managing ail the temporal affairs and 



ACT OF INCORPORATION. 



concerns of said church as they, or the major 
part of them so met, shall agree upon, and shall 
think most conducive to the interest and pros- 
perity of that church, and shall have the sole dis- 
position and ordering of all payments of the 
moneys belonging to the said church, and also 
the appointing a clerk, a treasurer, and collect- 
or, whenever they judge it nccessar)', and the 
said clerk, treasurer, and collector at their pleas- 
ure to remove, and to appoint others in their 
stead. All v^hich orders and rules they shall 
cause to be fairly entered and preserved in 
books to be provided for that purpose. 

A>id he It further enacted. That in whatever 
parish or parishes within this commonwealth, 
ministers and vestrymen are wanting to form a 
body corporate and politic, agreeable to the di- 
rections of this act, it shall be lawful for any 
two reputable inhabitants, members of the Epis- 
copal Church, to call together at some conve- 
nient place, by notice duly given, the members 
of the said church residing within such parish 
or parishes, and there elect, by a majority of 
votes, twelve able and discreet men, members 
of the Protestant Episcopal Church, who shall 
be a vestry to all mtents and purposes, and who, 
with their minister, or'during a vacancy, with- 
out a minister, shall be a body corporate and 
politic by the same name, and shall enjoy all the 
rights, powers, privileges, and immunities, as 
by this act are given to the respective ministers 
and vestries of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
within this commonwealth. 

And be it further enacted, That at all future 
elections of vestries, no person shall be allowed 
to 'ote who does not profess himself a member 
of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and actual- 
ly contribute towards its support. There shall 
be elections of vestrymen every third year for 
ever ; the hrst election to be held on Monday in 
next Easter-week, if fair, if not, the next fair 
day, and all succeeding elections on the same 
day, except as before excepted, in every third 
year ; whitfh elections shall be held and con- 
ducted in the foUo'Aing manner, viz ; The mem- 
bers of the Protestant Episcopal Church shall 
assemble at their respective parish churches, or 
at some other convenient place in the parish, on 
Easter-Monday, except as before excepted, every 
third year, and then and there elect twelve able 
and discreet men, members of the same church, 
who shall, previous to their entering on the 
office of vestrymen, subscribe in vestry to be 
conformable to the doctrine, discipline, and wor- 
ship of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Two 
of the vestry so chosen shall, by a majority of 
the vestry assembled, be nominated church- 
wardens, who, or either of whom, and their suc- 
cessors, shall preside at all future elections, 
shall take care that the elections are conducted 
in a fair and orderly manner, and shall be judges 
of the qualifications of electors. And to the 
intent that vacancies in vestries may be filled 
up. He it enacted. That whenever vacancies in 
vestries shall happen, either by death, resigna- 
tion, or removal from the parish, the remaining 
vfsirymen, or a quorum of them, shall choose 
sucli persons as tiiej may judge proper to siippiy 



the office of vestrymen ; who, on their subscri- 
bing in vestry as before directed, shall continue 
in office until the next general election of ves- 
tries, except they remove from the parish for 
which they were elected, or shall resign. 

And be it further enacted, That the ministers 
and vestries of the respective parishes, or the 
person or persons authorized by them to manage 
the temporal concerns of the Protestant Episco- 
pal Church in the respective parishes, shall, and 
they are hereby required, on the court-day of 
tlieir respective counties next following the tri- 
ennial elections, and so continually once in 
every three years, at the court aforesaid, to ex- 
hibit upon oath an account and inventory of all 
the estate, both real and personal, belonging to 
their respective churches or religious societies, 
together with the account of the annual revenue 
arising therefrom ; and in case the vestry of any 
parish, or the person or persons intrusted with 
the care of the temporalities of the respective 
churches or religious societies of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church, shall fail to exhibit an ac- 
count and inventory of the estate and annual rev- 
enue of the said churches respectively, for the 
space of twelve months after the expiration of 
the three years within which time they are 
hereby required to render such account and in- 
ventory, the vestry for the parish thus failing 
shall forfeit and pay the sum of one hundred 
pounds, to the use of the commonwealth, to be 
recovered by action of debt in any court of rec- 
ord ; and in case the account and inventory shall 
not be returned at the time appointed after the 
next general election, the vestry thus failing 
shall cease to be a body corporate. 

And be it further enacted. That in all cases 
where it shall appear by the account and inven- 
tory rendered as aforesaid, that the annual rev- 
enue of any church exceeds the said sum of 
eight hundred pounds, the court before whom 
such account is rendered is hereby required to 
report the same, together with the account and 
inventory by which such excess appears, to the 
executive, to be by them laid before the General 
Assembly at their next session. And to the in- 
tent that the Protestant Episcopal Church may 
be released from those restraints which are yet 
imposed on her by the laws of this common- 
wealth, 

Re it enacted, That all former acts relating to 
the elections, qualifications, powers, and duties 
of vestrymen and church-wardens, all former 
acts for the support of the clergy, all former acts 
relating to the appointment or qualilicalions or 
duties of ministers, all acts enjoining the obser- 
vance of any particular liturgy or form of wor- 
shij), the use of any particular catechism or mode 
of faith, and the observance of fasts and festi- 
vals, and all former acts imposing penalties on 
clergymen for neglecting to keep registers, or 
neglecting to give notice of any observance, or 
publishing any law, and every other act or 
clauses of acts within the purview of this act, 
are hereby repealed ; and all the vestries within 
this commonwealth are, on the day before the 
Monday of next Easter-week, declared to be dis- 
solved ; and the Protestant Episcopal Churcti 



CONVENTION OF 1785. 



8 



within this commonwealth is hereby authorized ; 
to regulate (in conventions of their churcli to be 
held so often as, and where they think proper, | 
and to consist of a deputation of two persons 
from each parish, whereof the minister shall al- 
ways be one, if there be a minister in the parish, ! 
and the other person or persons shall be ap- 
pointed by the vestries) all the religious con- , 
cerns of that church, its doctrines, discipline, I 
and worship, and to institute such rules and reg- 
ulations as they may judge necessary for the | 
good government thereof, and the same to re- 
voke and alter at their pleasure. Forty persons | 
so appointed shall be a convention, and the first 
meeting may be at the call of any three minis- 
ters of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Pro- 
vided, that no rules or regulations shall be in- 
stituted that shall be repugnant to the laws and 
constitution of this commonwealth, or by which 
a minister may be received into or turned out 



of a parish contrary to the consent of a majority 
of a vestry. 

And be it further enacted, That the ministers 
and laymen met in general convention shall 
have full power and authority, on good cause to 
them shown, to remove from any parish any 
minister accused of unworthy behaviour, or neg- 
lecting the duties of his ofhce. 

And he it further enacted. That where it shall 
have happened that the present vestries have 
failed in any parish to lay their parish levy, and to 
make provision for their poor, or other legal de- 
mands against such vestry at the time prescribed 
by law, such vestries having so failed are here- 
by authorized to levy on their respective parishes 
all arrearages due from the said vestry, in the 
same manner as they might have done before 
the passing of this act, any thing in this act to 
the contrary notwithstanding. 



Journal of a Convention of the Clergy and Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Virginia^ 
begun and holden iii the City of Richmond, Wednesday, May 18, 1785. 



A List of the Members of the Convention. 



Counties. 

Accomack, 

Albemarle, 
Brunswick and 
Greensville, 
Berkeley, 

Caroline, 

Charles City, 
Chesterfield, 

Culpepper, 

Cumberland, 
Dinwiddle, 

Elizabeth City, 

Essex, 

Fairfax, 

Fauquier, 

Frederick, 

Gloucester, 
Goochland, 

Hanover, 

Henrico, 
James City, 

King George, 

King and Queen, 

King William, 



Parishes. 
( Accomack, 
( St. George, 

Fredericksville, 
) St. Andrew, 
J Meherrin, 

Norborne, 
fDiysdale, 
) St. Asaph, 
j St. Margaret, 
(_St. Mary, 

Westover, 
5 Manchester, 
} Dale, 
\ St. Mark, 
( Bromfield, 

Lvttleton, 

B'ath, 

Elizabeth City, 

\ South Farnham, 

( St. Anne, 

Fairfax, 

Leeds, 

Frederick, 
( Abingdon, 
< Petsworth, 
( Kingston, 

St. James's Nor- 
tham, 

^ St. Paul, 

f St. Martin, 

Henrico, 

James City, 
( Hanover, 
\ St. Pauls, 

St. Stephen, 

St. John, 

St. David, 



Lay Deputies. 
Jabez Pittis. 

Levin Joynes and Tully Wise. 
John Walker. 
Drury Stith. 
Thomas Claiborne. 
Morgan Morgan. 
William Lyne. 
John Page, jun. 
Samuel Hawes. 
Robert Gilchrist. 
John Tyler. 

Archibald Cary. 

James Pendleton. 

Reuben Beall. 

Benjamin Wilson. 

Robert Walker. 
( Wilson Miles Cary and 
( George Wray. 
J Spencer Roane and 
I Newman Brockenbrough. 

Robert Beverley. 

Bryan Fairfax. 

Philip Mallory. 



A2 



John Page. 
Matthew Anderson. 
Thomas Smith. 

Thomas Underwood. 

John Pendleton and 

Bartlett Anderson. 

John Winston. 

Edmund Randolph. 

William Lee. 

Burditt Ashton. 

Townsend Dade. 

Anderson Scott and Henry Young 

Carter Braxton. 

Benjamin Temple. 



Clergymen. 



Thomas Lundie. 



Carter. 

Samuel Shield. 
Archibald Dick. 



Charles Clay. 
William Leigh. 
James Stephenson. 

Christopher Macrae. 
Devereaux Jarratt. 



David Griffith. 
Alexander Belmain. 



Robert Barret. 
John Buchanan. 
James Madison. 



William Skyring. 



CONVENTION OF 1785. 



Counties. 
Lancaster, 
Louisa, 
Lunenburg, 
Middlesex, 
Meciilenburg, 

Nansemond, 
New Kent, 
Norfolk, 

Northumberland, 

Northampton, 
Orange, 
Pittsylvania, 
Powhatan, 

P. George, 

P. Anne, 
P. William, 
Richmond, 
Southampton, 

Spotsylvania, < 

Stafford, | 

Surry, 
Warwick, 
Westmoreland, 
Williamsburg, 

York, \ 



Parishes. 

Christ Church, 

Trinity, 

Cumberland, 

Christ Church, 

St. James, 
( Upper, 
i Suffolk, 
( Blisland, 
i St. Peter, 
( Elizabeth, 
( Portsmouth, 
( Wicomico, 
( St. Stephen, 

Hungars, 

St. Thomas, 

Camden, 

Southam, 
( Martin's Brandon, 
i Bristol, 

Lynhaven, 

Deltingen, 

Farnham, 

St. Luke, 

St. George, 

Berkeley, 

Over Wharton, 

Brunswick, 

Southwark, 

W'arwick, 

Washington, 

Bruton, 

York Hampton, 

Charles, 



Lay Deputies. 
James Ball. 

Garret Minor and Chas. Yancey. 
Thomas Buford. 

Lewis Burwell. 

Willis Riddick and Richard Baker. 

Solomon Shepherd. 

Burwell Bassett. 

William Hariwell Macon. 

James Taylor and George Kelly. 

John Hudson. 

Thomas Gaskins. 

Hudson Meuse, 

Thomas Barbour. 
Abraham Shelton. 
Vincent Maikham. 
Nathaniel Harrison. 
Robert Boiling. 

JeBse Ewell. 
William Peachey. 

Joseph Brock. 

Beverley Winslow and J. Dawson. 

Charles Carter. 

William Fitzhugh. 

Carter B. Harrison. 

Richard Cary. 

John Blair. 
Nathaniel Nelson. 
Robert Shield. 



Clergymen. 

James Craig. 
Samuel Klug. 



Arthur Emmerson. 
Price Davies. 
James Semple. 

John Leland. 
Thomas Davis. 
Samuel S. M'Croskey. 



John H. Saunders. 
Benjamin Blagrove. 
John Cameron. 
Simpson. 



George Gurley. 



Robert Buchan. 
Thomas Thornton. 
H. John Burgess. 
William Bland. 
Francis Wilson. 
John Bracken. 
Robert Andrews. 
Joseph Davenport. 



A SUFFICIENT number of clergymen and lay 
deputies to form a Convention agreeable to the 
act of Assembly for incorporating the Protestant 
Episcopal Church having met. 

The Rev. James Madison, D. D., was unani- 
mously elected President of the Convention. 

The Rev. Robert Andrews, A. M., was unan- 
imously appointed Secretary of the Convention. 

Ordered, That a committee be appointed to 
examine and report to the Convention the cer- 
tificate of appointment of the sitting members. 
And a coininillee was appointed of Mr. Lee, 
Mr. Wilson M. Cary, Mr. Braxton, Mr. Page, 
of Gloucester, Rev. Mr. Gritfith, and Rev. Mr. 
Shield. 

Resolved, That this Convention will observe 
the standing rules of the House of Delegates. 

Ordered, That two door-keepers be appointed. 

The act of Assembly for incorporating the 
Protestant Episcopal Church, and a paper con- 
taining the proceedings of a Convention of Cler- 
gymen and Lav Deputies of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church, held at New- York, on the 6th 
and 7ih of October, 1784, were read. 

Ordered, That the said act and paper lie on 
the table. 

Resolvetl, That this Convention will to-mor- 
row resolve itself into a committee of the whole 
Convention to take into consideration the state 
of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this com- 
monwealth. 

Resolved, That the secretary be authorized 
to employ an assistant. 



Resolved, That this Convention will attend 
divine service to-morrow morning, at 9 o'clock, 
at the church in this city : And that divine ser- 
vice shall afterward be performed every morning 
in the capitol when the president takes the chair. 

The Convention adjourned till to-morrow 
morning, 10 o'clock. 

Thursday, M.\y 19, 1785. 

The Convention having met according to ad- 
journment, 

Ordered, That the thanks of the Convention 
be given to the Rev. John Bracken for the ex- 
cellent sermon preached by him this morning. 

The Convention, according to the order of 
the day, resolved itself into a committee of the 
whole Convention to take into consideration the 
state of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this 
commonwealth. 

Mr. Braxton in the chair. 

Mr. Braxton, from the committee of the whole 
Convention to take into consideration the state 
of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this com- 
monwealth, reported. That the committee had, 
according to order, tiVken the same into consid- 
eration, and come to the following resolution 
thereupon, which was read and agreed to as fol- 
loweth : — 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this com- 
mittee that an address be prepared to the mem- 
bers of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Vir- 
ginia, representing the condition of that Church} 
and exhorting them to unite in its support. 



CONVENTION OF 1785. 



Ordered, Tliat a committee of eight members 
be appointed to prepare the address : And a 
committee was appointed of Mr. Page, of Glou- 
cester, Mr. Randolph, Mr. Braxton, Mr. Wallc- 
er, Rev. Mr. Griffith, Rev. Mr. Burgess, Rev. 
Mr. Bracken, and Rev. Mr. Andrews. 

The Convention again resolved itself into a 
committee of the whole Convention on the state 
of the Church, and after some time spent there- 
in, Mr. President resumed the chair, and Mr. 
Braxton reported that the committee had, ac- 
cording to order, taken the state of the Church 
under consideration, and had come to several res- 
olutions thereupon, which were read and agreed 
to by the Convention, as followeth : — 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this com- 
mittee that deputies be appointed to represent 
the Protestant Episcopal Church of Virginia, in 
the General Convention to be holden in the city 
of Philadelphia on the Tuesday before the feast 
of St. Michael next. 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this com- 
mittee that the deputation to the General Con- 
vention consist of two clergymen and two lay- 
men ; any two of whom shall be considered as 
a representation. 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this com- 
mittee that instructions be prepared for the con- 
duct of the said deputies. 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this com- 
mittee that the said instructions be so framed as 
to leave the Convention of this state at liberty 
to approve or disapprove of the proceedings of 
the General Convention. 

Mr. Braxton informed the Convention that 
the committee of the whole Convention on the 
state of the Church had not gone through the bu- 
siness to them referred ; and moved that the said 
committee have leave to sit again, whereon it was 

Resolved, That the Convention will again, to- 
morrow, resolve itself into a committee of the 
whole Convention on the state of the Church. 

Ordered, That the committee appointed to 
prepare the address to the members of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church in this commonwealth, 
also prepare the instructions for the conduct of 
the deputies to the General Convention ; and 
that the Rev. Mr. M'Croskey and Mr. Lee be 
added to the committee. 

Ordered, That a committee be appointed to 
prepare a plan for the support of the deputies to 
the General Convention : And a committee was 
appointed of Mr. Randolph, Rev. Mr. Griffith, 
Mr. Walker, and Rev. Mr. Davis. 

Resolved, That the Convention will on Sat- 
urday next proceed by ballot to the choice of 
deputies to attend the General Convention. 

Ordered, That a committee be appointed to 
prepare and report fit rules for the order, gov- 
ernment, and discipline of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church in this commonwealth. And a 
committee was appointed of Mr. N. Harrison, 
Rev. T. Davis, Rev. Mr. Shield, Rev. Mr Sky- 
ring, Rev. Mr. Davenport, Rev. Mr. Cameron, 
Rev. Mr. Griffith, Rev. Mr. M'Croskey, Rev. 
Mr. Burgess, Mr. Page, Mr. W. M. Cary, Mr. 
Taylor, Mr. Lee, Mr. Gilchrist, Mr. Nelson, and 
Mr. Peachey. 



The Convention adjourned till to-morrow 
morning, 1 1 o'clock. 

Friday, May 20, 1785. 

Mr. Page, from the committee appointed to 
prepare instructions for the deputies to the Gen- 
eral Convention, presented a draught of such in- 
structions, which were read, and ordered to be 
referred to a committee of the whole Conven- 
tion to-morrow. 

Mr. Randolph, from the committee appointed 
to prepare a plan for the support of the deputies 
to the General Convention, reported. That the 
committee had, according to order, had the same 
under consideration, and had come to some res- 
olutions thereupon, which were read and agreed 
to, as followeth : — 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of your com- 
mittee that it be recommended to the several 
vestries of this commonwealth to procure by sub- 
scription, from the members of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church within their respective par- 
ishes, the sum of five pounds, for the purpose 
of defraying the expenses of the deputies of the 
said church to the General Convention, to be 
holden at Philadelphia on the Tuesday before 
the feast of St. Michael next, and to forward 
the same to the Rev. John Buchanan, of the 
city of Richmond, on or before the twentieth 
day of August next. 

Resolved, That the said Rev. John Buchanan 
be requested to receive the moneys raised by 
the aforesaid subscription ; and to pay the same 
in equal proportions to such of the said deputies 
as shall undertake the business, or to their or- 
der, as far as the sum of forty pounds each, and 
to retain the balance in his hands, subject to the 
order of the Convention. 

Resolved, That the representatives of the sev- 
eral parishes in this Convention will exert them- 
selves for the payment of the sum aforesaid. 

Resolved, That his excellency the Governor, 
the members of the Council, and the judges of 
the Supreme Courts, be admitted to seats within 
the bar. 

The Rev. Mr. Thomas Davis, from the com- 
mittee appointed to prepare fit rules for the or- 
der, government, and discipline of the Protest- 
ant Episcopal Church in Virginia, informed the 
Convention that the said committee had, ac- 
cording to order, framed several rules for the 
attainment of those ends ; which were read, and 
ordered to be referred to a committee of the 
whole Convention to-morrow. 

Ordered, That the secretary procure a copy of 
the Canons of the Church of England for the 
use of the Convention. 

Ordered, That the proceedings of the Con- 
vention of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 
holden at New- York on the 6th and 7th days 
of October, 1784, be referred to the committee 
appointed to draw up the instructions for the 
deputies to the General Convention ; and that 
Mr. A. Cary and Rev. Mr. Leigh be added to 
the said committee. 

Resolved, That the order of the day that the 
Convention resolve itself into a committee of 
the whole Convention on the state of the Prot- 



6 



CONVENTION OF 1785. 



estant Episcopal Church in this commonwealth 
be put off until to-morrow. 

The Convention adjourned till to-morrow, 10 
o'clock. 

S.t^TURDAY, May 21, 1785. 

Mr. Lee, from the committee appointed to 
examine and report the certificates of appoint- 
ment of the sittmg members, reported, That the 
said coininit'ee had, according to order, exam- 
ined the same, and had come to some resolu- 
tions thereupon, which were read. 

Ordered, That the said resolutions lie on the 
table. 

The Convention, according to the order of 
the day, resolved itself into a committee of the 
whole Convention on the draught of the instruc- 
tions for the deputies to the General Conven- 
tion ; and after some time spent therein, Mr. 
President resumed the chair, and Mr. Braxton, 
from the said committee, reported. That the 
committee had gone through the business to them 
referred, and had made several amendments, 
which he was ready to report when the Con- 
vention should be pleased to receive them. 

Resolved, That the Convention will on Mon- 
day next receive the said report. 

The Convention, accordmg to the order of 
the day, resolved itself into a committee of the 
whole Convention on the rules for the order, 
government, and discipline of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in Virginia, and after some 
time spent therein, Mr. President resumed the 
chair, and Mr. Braxton reported, That the com- 
mittee had, according to order, taken under con- 
sideration the business to them referred, and 
had made some progress therein, but not having 
had time to go through the same, he moved that 
the committee have leave to sit again. 

Resolved, That the Convention will on Mon- 
day next again resolve itself into a committee 
of the whole Convention on the rules for the 
order, government, and discipline of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church in Virginia. 

Resolved, That the several orders of the day 
be put off until Monday next. 

The Convention adjourned till Monday next, 
10 o'clock. 

Monday, May 23, 1785. 

Mr. Randolph, from the committee to which 
the proceedings of the Convention holden at 
New- York were referred, reported. That the 
committee had, accordmg to order, had the 
same under consideration, and had come to some 
resolutions thereon, which were read and agreed 
to as foUoweth : — 

Re.solved, That this Convention are willing 
to unite in a general ecclesiastical constitution 
with the members of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in the other states of America. 

Resolved, That this Convention do accede to 
the following recommendations of the late Con- 
vention at New- York, as fundamental principles 
in the said ecclesiastical constitution : — 

1. That there shall he a General Convention 
of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America. 

2. That the Episcopal Church in each state 



send deputies to the said Convention, consisting 
of clerg\- and laity. 

3. That associated congregations in two or 
more states may send deputies jointly. 

4. That in every slate where there shall be a 
bishop consecrated and settled, he shall be con- 
sidered as a member of the said Convention, ex 
officio. 

Resolved, That this Convention cannot bind 
themselves on the subject of the fourth article, 
until the same shall be revised at the next Gen- 
eral Convention at Philadelphia, and reported to 
the next Convention. 

Resolved, That this Convention cannot ac- 
cede to the sixth article, recommended as a fun- 
damental principle of the said ecclesiastical con- 
stitution. 

Resolved, That this Convention will however 
accede to the mode of voting, recommended in 
the sixth article, with respect to the Convention 
to be holden at Philadelphia, reserving a right 
to approve or disapprove their proceedings. 

The Convention, according to the order of the 
day, proceeded to consider the amendments 
made to the instructions for the conduct of the 
deputies appointed to attend the General Con- 
vention at Philadelphia, and, having made some 
other amendments, agreed to the instructions, as 
foUoweth : — 

Gentlemen, — During your representation of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church in the General 
Convention, we recommend to your observance 
the following sentiments concerning doctrine 
and worship. We refer you, at the same time, 
for these and other objects of your mission, to 
our resolutions on the proceedings of the late 
Convention at New- York. 

Uniformity in doctrine and worship will un- 
questionably contribute to the prosperity of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church. But we earnestly 
wish that this may be pursued with liberality 
and moderation. The obstacles which stand in 
the way of union among (Christian societies are 
too often founded on matters of mere form. 
They are surmountable therefore by those who, 
breathing the spirit of Christianity, earnestly 
labour in this pious work 

From the Holy Scriptures themselves, rather 
than the comments of men, must we learn the 
terms of salvation. Creeds, therefore, ought to 
be simple : And we are not anxious to retain 
any other than that which is commonly called 
the Apostles' Creed. 

Should a change in the liturgy be proposed, 
let it be made with caution : And in that case 
let the alterations be few, and the style of prayer 
continue as agr«eable as may be to the essential 
characteristics of our persuasion. 

Wc will not now decide what ceremonies ought 
to be retained. V\'e wish, however, that those 
which exist may be estimated according to their 
utility ; and that such as may appear fit to be 
laid aside, may no longer be appendages of our 
church. 

We need only add, that we shall expect a re- 
port of your proceedings to be made to those 
whom we shall vest with authority to call a Con- 
vention. 



CONVENTION OF 1785. 



Done in Convention this 22(1 day of May, in 
the year of onr Lord 1785. 

On a motion made, Ivesolvcd, That it be rec- 
ommended to the several vestries to ascertain, 
by the liest means in their power, the number 
of the members of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church wiihiii their respective parishes, and re- 
port the same to the next (Jonvcntion. 

The Convention, according to the order of the 
day, proceeded by ballot to the apjjomtment of 
deputies to attend the General Convention, to 
be holden in Philadelphia in September next ; 
and Mr. Harrison, Mr. Randolph, Rev. Mr. 
Burgess, and Rev. Mr. Shield, were appointed 
a committee to examine the ballots, who, hav- 
ing withdrawn and examined the same, reported. 
That thev had found the numbers for the sev- 
eral persons balloted for to be as foUoweth : — 

For Rev. David Griffith, 71 ; John Page, 
Esq., 67; William Lee, Esq., 43 ; Rev. Sam- 
uel S. M'Croskey, 38 ; Rev. Robert Andrews, 
35 ; Carter Braxton, Esq., 33 ; Rev. John 
Bracken, 2; Rev. John Burgess, 2; Bryan 
Fairfax, Esq., 1 ; Dr. James Taylor, 1. 

And it appearing from the report that the 
majority of the whole Convention were in fa- 
vour of Mr. Griffith, Mr. Page, Mr. Lee, and 
Mr M'Croskey, 

Resolved, therefore, That the Rev. David Grif- 
fith, John Page, Esq., William Lee, Esq., and 
the Rev. Samuel Smith M'Croskey, be appointed 
deputies to the General Convention of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church, to be holden at Phil- 
adelphia on the Tuesday before the feast of St. 
Michael next. 

The Convention, according to the order of 
the day, resolved itself into a committee of the 
whole Convention on the rules for the order, 
government, and discipline of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church ; and after some time spent 
therein, Mr. President resuine<l the chair, and 
Mr. Harrison reported. That the said commit- 
tee had, according to order, had under their con- 
sideration the business to them referred, and 
had innde some progress in the same, but that 
not having had time to go through it, he was di- 
rected to move that the said committee have 
leave to sit again. 

Resolved, That the said committee sit again 
to-morrow. 

A letter from his excellency the Governor, di- 
rected to the President of the Convention, and 
enclosing an extract of a letter from Count de 
Kosencrone, respecting the means of procuring 
ordination of American clergymen in Denmark, 
was, together with the said extract, read and or- 
dered to be referred to a committee : And a 
committee was appointed of Mr. Braxton, Mr. 
Page, Rev. Mr. Davis, and Rev. Mr, Shield. 

Resolved, That the order of the day for the 
Convention to resolve itself into a committee of 
the whole Convention on the state of the church 
be put off until to-morrow. 

The Convention adjourned till to-morrow 
morning, 9 o'clock. 

Tuesday, M.vy 24, 1785. 

Mr. Page, from the committee appointed to 



prepare an address to the members of the Prot- 
estant Episcojial Church, reported. That the 
said committee had prepared such an address ; 
which was read and agreed to, as followeth : — 

The Address of the Convention to the Members 
of the I'roicslant EjiiscopaL 'Church in Vir- 
ginia. 

For more than eight years our church hath 
languished under neglect. We will not, how- 
ever, believe that her friends have revolted, and 
therefore trust that a knov% ledge of her present 
condition will rekindle their former affections. 

Reli;.Mon does not invite by inducements from 
eternal interest alone ; society feels her benig- 
nity in remedying the defects of laws. Secret 
injuries to social rights escape the censures of 
government. From the constitution of human 
atiairs, human wisdom cannot be certain, that 
an antidote applied to one evil will not produce 
another ; and many are the duties of imperfect 
obligation, which no legislative provision can 
enforce. Nor can society at all times furnish 
incitements to virtuous conduct by rewards ; and 
even if this were practicable, the most enlight- 
ened tribunal on earth could not be assured of 
the puritv of the motive which gave birth to the 
action rewarded. Religion, on the contrary, tixes 
the eye of conscience on deeds however remote 
from public view ; arrests the hand of vice by 
holding forth the responsibility of man to his 
Creator; rescues benevolence i'rom the vortex 
of self-love ; administers self-complacency, that 
highest prize of merit ; and withholds it in spite 
of partiality when it is not due. 

From the earhestday, and in every clime, has 
the efficacy of religion been acknowledged. Un- 
der various forms have her benefits been soli- 
cited, and we have enlisted ourselves under the 
banners of the Protestant Episcopal Church. 
Let us not then desert this object of our choice, 
but, conscious of her scriptural authority, devote 
ourselves to her relief. 

Of what is the church now possessed ! Noth- 
ing but the glebes and your affections. Since 
the year 1776, she hath been even without reg- 
ular government, and her ministers have re- 
ceived but little compensation for their services. 
Their numbers are diminished by death and 
other causes, and we have as yet no resource 
within ourselves for a succession of ministers. 
Churches stand in need of repair, and there is 
no fund equal to the smallest want. 

By the favour of Providence, indeed, the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church is incorporated by law, 
and under this sanction are we now assembled. 
We have accepted the invitation of a Conven- 
tion, lately holden at New-York, to send depu- 
ties to another to be holden at Philadelphia in 
the fall. We shall not enier into a revision of 
doctrine and worship, until their return and re- 
port of the sentiments of those of our commu- 
nion with whom they may be associated. We 
have, however, organized the government of the 
church. 

But whither must our labours tend without 
your assistance 1 To contempt they cannot ; 
for we have the consciousness of aiming at ovir 



8 



CONVENTION OF 1785. 



common welfare alone. To almost every thing 
under the sun belongs a crisis, which, if em- 
braced, stamps our endeavours with success — if 
lost, with ruin. In this situation does our 
church now stand : and why do you hesitate 1 
Are the doctrines of our church less e.xcellent 
than at any former period 1 Have you embraced 
the persuasion of that church, to abandon it in 
the hour of difficulty T Common justice requires 
that those who profess themselves to be members 
of a society, should unite in cherishing it ; and 
let us not be the only example of a religions asso- 
ciation withering from the want of support from 
its own members. 

But do not believe that by thus exhorting you 
to zeal for our church, we mean to provoke an 
aversion to other Christian societies. It is vain 
to e.xpect unanimity among mankind ; and who 
can with confidence declare himself infallible 1 
We rather conceive that Christians of every de- 
nomination, who are sincere in their opinion, are 
not less our brethren for maintaining ditterent 
tenets. It is our duty to be ready to unite upon 
principles consistent with the gospel, and bring 
the Christian Church to unity, as nearly as con- 
science will permit. 

We therefore entreat you in the most solemn 
manner, we conjure you by all the ties of reli- 
gion, to co-operate fervently in the cause of our 
church. Should these our earnest efforts be 
abortive, we shall always with truth call the 
Searcher of hearts to witness, that the downfall 
of the Protestant Episcopal Church is not to be 
named among our offences, and to this admoni- 
tion shall we ever appeal. 

Ordered, That copies of the address be 

immediately printed. 

Resolved, That it be recommended to the sev- 
eral vestries to take the most effectual measures 
for procuring by voluntary subscriptions a com- 
petent support for the incumbents of their re- 
spective parishes ; and to report the result of 
their endeavours to the next Convention. 

The proceedings of a vestry holden for North 
Farnham parish, April 9, 1785, were laid before 
the Convention. 

Ordered, That they lie on the table. 

The Rev. T. Davis, from the committee to 
whom were referred the letter from his excel- 
lency the Governor, and the extract of a letter 
from the Count de llosencrone, reported. That 
the said committee had, according to order, had 
under consideration the papers to them referred, 
and had come to some resolutions thereon, 
which were read and agreed to, as foUoweth : — 

Resolved, '^I'hat the thanks of this Convention 
are due to his excellency the Governor for this 
mark of his attention to their interests, and that 
the President of the Convention be requested to 
write a letter expressive of their thanks, and to 
assure him that they have a proper sense of the 
indulgence granted by his Danish majesty to the 
Episcopalians of these United States. 

Resolved, That the deputies be instructed to 
communicate to the General Convention at Phil- 
adelphia the contents of the Count de Rosen- 
crone's letter. 



The Convention, according to the order of 
the day, resolved itself into a committee of the 
whole Convention on the rules for the order, 
government, and discipline of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church, and after some time spent 
therein, Mr. President resumed the chair, and 
Mr. Harrison reported. That the said committee 
had, according to order, had the said rules under 
consideration, and made several amendments 
therein, which were read and agreed to ; and 
the rules, as amended, were ordered to be fairly 
transcribed and read to-morrow. 

Resolved, That the committee of the whole 
Convention on the state of the church be dis- 
charged from sitting again. 

On a motion made. 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Con- 
vention that the Canons of the Church of Eng- 
land have.no obligation on the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church within this commonwealth. 

Resolved, That until the farther order of the 
Convention, the liturgy of the Church of Eng- 
land be used in the several churches throughout 
this commonwealth, with such alterations as the 
American Revolution has rendered necessary. 

The Convention adjourned till to-morrow 
morning, 10 o'clock. 

Wednesday, May 25, 1785. 

The rules for the order, government, and dis- 
cipline of the Protestant Episcopal Church, hav- 
ing been fairly transcribed, were read, and the 
blanks tilled up : And then it was resolved unan- 
imously that the said rules do pass, as follow- 
eth : — 

Rules for the Order, Government, and Disci- 
pline of the Protestant Episcopal Chinch in 
Virginia. 

1. Conventions shall be holden annually on 
the fourth Wednesday in May, in the city of 
Richmond : Provided nevertheless. That if a 
sufficient number of members to form a Con- 
vention shall not attend on the said day, any 
fourteen then assembled shall have power to ad- 
journ. 

*. A person shall preside in Convention with 
the title of president, who shall always be a 
bishop, when there is one properly consecrated 
and settled in this church, till which time a pres- 
ident shall be appointed by the Convention out 
of their own body. If more than one bishop is 
found necessary in this church, they shall pre- 
side alternately. 

3. A secretary shall be appointed by the Con- 
vention, and dismissed by them at their pleas- 
ure, who shall take an oath of office, keep a rec- 
ord of their resolves and proceedings, and have 
the records in his custody so long as he shall 
continue in office. 

4. Standing rules shall be established for the 
preservation of decorum, and the orderly man- 
agement of business. 

5. All questions, whether thev relate to the 
order, government, discipline, doctrine, or wor- 
ship of this church, or to any other matter 
which is properly before the Convention, shall 
be determined by a majority of votes. 



CONVENTION OF 1785. 



9 



6. At all future Conventions, each member 
(whether minister or lavman) shall, previous to 
his admission, produce a tesiitnonial of his being 
regularly appointed, which testimonial shall be 
signed by one or both of the ciiurch-wardens or 
by the clerk of tiie respective vestries. 

7. All the ordinances and other proceedings 
of the Convention shall be attested -by the sec- 
retary. 

8. The clergy of several neighbouring par- 
ishes, not less than three nor more than ten, shall 
assemble in presbytery annually on the second 
Wednesday in A[)ril, at some convenient place 
in the district, to be appointed by a majority of 
the ministers in the same district : One in each 
district shall be appointed by the Convention to 
preside in their meetings with the title of vis- 
iter, who shall annually visit each parish in his 
district — shall attend to and inspect the morals 
and conduct of the clergy — shall see that the 
canons and rules of the church are observed, 
and that no abuses are practised — shall admon- 
ish and reprove privately those clergymen who 
are negligent, or act in an unbecoming manner, 
and shall report yearly to the bishop, if there be 
one, or, if there he no bishop, to the next Con- 
vention, the state of each parish in his district, 
noting down the offenders and their offences. 

9. The clergy who shall minister in this 
church shall be the three orders of bishops, 
priests, and deacons. 

10. Every person hereafter to officiate in this 
church as a bishop, shall be nominated by the 
Convention ; and having received episcopal con- 
secration before he enters on his office, shall 
take the oath of allegiance to this commonwealth, 
and subscribe to conform to the doctrine, disci- 
pline, and worship of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church of Virginia: And no person shall be re- 
ceived into the church as a bishop until he shall 
have completed the 30th year of his age. 

11. As we conceive the office of a bishop, ac- 
cording to the true Apostolic institution, differs 
in nothing from that of other ministers of God's 
Word, except in the power of ordination and con- 
firmation, and the rights of superintending the 
conduct of the clergy, and of precedency in ec- 
clesiastical assemblies, that office shall accord- 
ingly be so exercised in this church : And every 
bishop, after his promotion to the episcopal 
order, shall continue to hold a parish and to do 
the duty of a parish minister, e.\cept when he is 
necessarily employed in the discharge of his 
episcopal office. 

12. No bishop shall inflict any censure upon, 
or exercise any power over the clergy under his 
inspection, other than he is allowed to do by the 
laws and institutions of this church made in 
Convention. 

13. No priest or minister shall hereafter be 
received into any parish within this common- 
wealth unless he first produce to the vestry suf- 
ficient testimonials of his having been regularly 
ordained a priest by some Protestant bishop — 
take the oath of allegiance to this common- 
wealth, and subscribe to be conformable to the 
doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church. Provided, That any 



person who hath been ordained by a bishop of 
the Church of Rome may also be received as a 
minister, who shall produce satisfactory testi- 
monials respecting his ordination, morals, and 
conduct — renouncing the errors of that church 
— take the oath, and subscribe as aforesaid. 

14. No minister shall hereafter be received 
into a parish who does not first produce to the 
vestry satisfactory testimonials of his morals, 
conduct, and conversation, from the person or 
persons appointed by the Convention to inquire 
into such matters and grant such testimonials. 

15. The right of presentation or appointing 
ministers to serve in the parishes shall continue 
in the vestries, and each vestry shall choose its 
own minister. 

IG. Every person to be ordained priest or 
deacon, by any bishop of this church, shall 
first produce testimonials of his good morals 
and orderly conduct from the clergy, assembled 
in the district where he for some time last re- 
sided, and from tha vestry of the parish where 
he last lived : Provided there be in the district 
a sufficient number of clergymen to form a 
presbytery, otherwise a testimonial from the 
minister and vestry of his parish, or from the 
vestry alone, if the parish is vacant, shall be 
deemed sufficient : Provided also, the candi- ' 
date is not an inhabitant of some other state, 
and intended to minister in some parish or con- 
gregation in a neighbouring state ; Of the suf- 
hciency of these testimonials, as well as of the 
literary and other qualihcations of the candi- 
dates, the bishop shall be the judge, and shall 
approve or reject at his discretion. 

17. No person shall be admitted to priest's 
orders until he shall have completed the twenty- 
fourth year of his age, and is assured of the 
willingness of some parish or congregation to 
receive hiin as their minister, to be certified 
from under the hands of the church-wardens, 
and attested by the clerk of the vestry. 

18. Every person approved of by the bishop, 
whether for priest's or deacon's orders, shall be 
ordained according to the form prescribed in the 
Book of Common Prayer, dec, directed to be 
used in this church. But no person shall be 
ordained priest until he has served six months 
in the office of deacon. 

19. No person shall be ordained a deacon 
until he shall have completed the twenty-first 
year of his age. 

20. No person having deacon's orders only 
shall be allowed to hold a parish. But a deacon 
may, during a vacancy, officiate in a parish, 
if chosen by the vestry to do so. He shall 
preach the gospel and baptize. He may assist 
in administering the sacrament of the Lord's 
supper, but not consecrate the elements. He 
may solemnize marriages, and shall attend to 
the situation and circumstances of the poor 
where it may be necessary. 

21. A person may be ordained a deacon 
though he shall have no assurance of being 
called to minister in a parish or congregation, 
provided his testimonials and qualifications are 
satisfactory to the bishop. 

22. A deacon may minister as a probationer 



10 



CONVENTION OF 1785. 



or missionary under the direction of the Con- 
vention or the bishop. 

23. It being directed by the incorporating act 
that church-wardens shall be appointed, it shall 
be their dutv to superintend the building and 
repairing of churches and other buildnigs be- 
longing to the parish — lo see that they are done 
agreeably to the directions of the vestry and 
according to contract — to restrain and check 
disorderly behaviour during time of worship — 
to prosecute, under the direction of the vestry, 
persons offending in such instances — to furnish 
books, ornaments, surplices, elements for the 
sacrament, and every other thing judged ne- 
cessary by the vestry, out of the church reve- 
nues, and to have, together with the minister, 
the care of and superintendence over the 
churches and burying-grounds. Church-war- 
dens are to be considered as the acting part of 
the vestry, who are to see their orders and reso- 
lutions carried into execution : and they are to 
report the state of the parish to the bishop and 
visiter at their visitations. 

24. The parish clerk shall be appointed by 
the minister and vestry, and displaced by them 
whenever his services are not satisfactory to the 

_ people : whenever he shall neglect his duty, or 
otherwise misbehave himself. 

25. Sextons shall be appointed by the vestries, 
and dismissed by them when they think proper. 
It shall be their duty to keep the keys of the 
church, subordinate to the minister or church- 
wardens, to keep the church in decent order, 
and to have the charge of the books, ornaments, 
and other necessaries. 

26. Bishops shall be amenable to the Conven- 
tion, who shall be a court to try them, from 
which there shall be no appeal. On all such 
occasions a president shall be chosen by the 
Convention to sit as judge, and they shall also 
appoint a clerk to the court. 

27. All accusations against a bishop, as such, 
shall come from the vestries ; but no accusa- 
tion against a bishop shall be received unless 
three vestries join in the complaint. All com- 
plaints against a bishop shall be lodged with 
such persons as may be appointed to call a Con- 
vention, and a copy of the charge or charges to 
be brought against him shall be communicated 
to him in writing at least two months before 
the trial. Counsel may be employed on both 
sides ; and none but legal evidence shall be 
admitted. 

28. Disorderly, scandalous, and immoral con- 
duct, neglect, of duty, a disregard to the rules 
and canons of the church, or taking a bribe to 
grant either ordination or a recommendation for 
a vacant parish, shall be considered as offences 
in a bishop, for which he may be brought to 
trial, and, on his being convicte-i of any of these, 
he shall be reproved, suspended, or dismissed, 
at the discretion of the court. 

29. Courts shall be instituted to examine 
into complaints exhibited against ministers or 
deacons, to consist of six members, viz., three 
clergymen and three vestrymen, from the nearest 
and most convenient parishes, one from each. 
The appointment of the said vestrymen shall be 



determined by lot. The oldest clergyman in 
orders shall preside as judge. On conviction 
of the minister, the court shall report the facts 
and state the evidence to the Convention, who 
shall proceed without delay to pronounce such 
sentence as a majority of them shall think the 
offence deserves ; which shall be either reproof, 
suspension," or dismission. 

30. No vestryman shall sit on the examina- 
tion of a minister belonging to the parish 
wherein such vestryman resides. The exami- 
nation shall be held in the parish where the ac- 
cused minister officiates, and at a place to be 
appointed by the vestry. The judges shall ap- 
point a clerk occasionally for such examinations. 

31. Complaints against a minister shall be 
received from the vestry of the parish where the 
minister officiates, and from no other person or 
persons whatever. They shall be signed by a 
majority of a vestry, without which no com- 
plaint shall be received. They shall be directed 
to the bishop, or to the persons who may be 
vested by the Convention with authority to re- 
ceive such complaints, and to direct courts of 
examination. In every complaint the offence 
or offences shall be stated, and the minister 
shall be furnished with a copy of the charges 
brought against him, and with notice of his in- 
tended examination, at least one month before 
the examination. Vivi voce evidence only shall 
be admitted, and that on oath ; and counsel 
may be employed on both sides. 

33. Disorderly, scandalous, and immoral con- 
duct ; neglect of duty ; a disregard to the rules 
and canons of the church ; or taking a bribe to 
recommend either for ordination or a parish, are 
to be considered as among the offences for 
which a minister may be brought to trial. 

33. The bishop, or persons vested with au- 
thority for this purpose, shall, on receiving a 
complaint against any minister, immediately in- 
stitute a court, as before described, to examine 
into the complaint, and shall take care that the 
ministers and vestrymen who are to compose 
the court shall be informed in time. The 
bishop or persons so vested with authority shall 
cite the accused person before the appointed 
court, which shall (unless the accused person 
is prevented from attending by sickness) pro- 
ceed to examine the testimony against the of- 
fender, and take the depositions of the witnesses. 
They shall then report the case, with the testi- 
mony, to the Convention at their next meeting, 
who shall, if they think proper, proceed to pass 
sentence against the accused person at their 
discretion : Provided, That no sentence shall be 
other than reproof, suspension, or dismission. 

34. Deacons behaving in a scandalous, dis- 
orderly, or immoral manner, or who neglect the 
duty they have undertaken, shall, on full and 
satisfactory proof, be suspended, or silenced by 
the bishop, until the sense of the Convention 
shall be known. And the salary accruing du- 
ring the suspension of a minister or deacon, 
who is afterward found guilty, shall go to the 
vestry for the use of the church. 

35. Bishops shall visit the different parishes 
under their mspection once in three years at 



CONVENTION OF 1785. 



11 



least, of which visitation the clergy or church- 
wardens shall have timely notice. In their vis- 
itations they shall confirm such as choose to re- 
ceive confirmation. They shall inspect the state 
of the parishes, and the conduct of the clergy, 
who shall give them what information they can 
respecting such ecclnsiastical matters as they 
may choose to he informed of. They shall re- 
ceive complainls against ministers and deacons, 
and inquire into the ground of them, and at their 
discretion shall admonish or susjiend the person 
accused: And, if they think the oflcnce de- 
serving a severer sentence, shall cause the ac- 
cused person to be brought to trial. 

36. Bishops shall hold ordinations at such 
times and places as they may judge necessary 
and convenient. 

37. Bishops, after every visitation, shall re- 
port the state of the church in the different 
parishes to the (Convention. 

3S. No minister or bishop shall be allowed 
to hold more than one parish at the same time. 
Nevertheless a ininister may, if called thereto 
by the vestry, preach in a neighbouring parish 
or parishes during a vacancy in such parish or 
parishes, and may receive a compensation for his 
services : Provided he has the consent of his 
own vestry, and shall not neglect the duties of 
his parish. 

39. Every minister shall reside within his 
parish, unless a majority of his vestry shall agree 
to di.spense with his residence ; and shall at no 
lime leave it for more than one month without 
the consent of the said vestry. 

40. Ministers shall, at their churches or other 
convenient places, instruct children, and such 
ignorant persons as may require it, in their cate- 
chism, and the principles of the Christian reli- 
gion as maintained by this church. Provided 
this duty may be dispensed with during the in- 
clement winter months. They shall also explain 
the nature of confirmation, and instruct and 
prepare their parishioners for it. 

41. Ministers and deacons shall wear a sur- 
plice during the time of prayer at public wor- 
ship, in places where they are provided ; shall 
wear gowns when they preach, where they con- 
veniently can ; and shall at all times wear ap- 
parel suited to the gravity of their profession ; 
— such as may distinguish them from laymen. 

42. Ministers and deacons may encourage 
people to assemble together in small societies 
at convenient times for their edification, and 
may visit, superintend, and instruct such so- 
cieties at their meetings. Provided they shall 
not do it to the encouragement of idleness, or 
to the injury of private families. 

43. Ministers officiating in this church, 
whether bishops, priests, or deacons, shall 
preach once at least on every Lord's day, and 
at other staled seasons, unless prevented by 
some sufficient cause. They may, at their dis- 
cretion, preach also at other times when oppor- 



tunities shall offer of edifying the church. 
Bishops and priests shall administer the sacra- 
ment at least four times in the year at each 
church or place of worship in their respective 
parishes ; and shall visit the sick when called 
on for that purpose. 

Resolved, That a standing committee be ap- 
pointed, whose business it shall be to corre- 
spond with any society or societies of the Prot- 
estant E[)iscopal Church in the United Stales, 
on any matters relating thereto ; to call a meet- 
ing of the Convention whensoever it shall seem 
necessary ; to receive complaints against the 
clergy, and to direct courts of examination, 
pursuant to the rules for the government of the 
church ; to make snch representations on behalf 
of the church as may from lime to time be ex- 
pedient ; to give adv ice on difficulties propounded 
to them concerning the church during the recess 
of the Convention, and fo report their proceed- 
ings to every succeeding Convention, to be con- 
firmed or rescinded. 

Resolved, That the said committee consist 
of four members ; that they continue in office 
until the next Convention ; and that vacancies 
by death, resignation, or removal from the 
country, be supplied by the votes of the remain- 
ing members : And a standing committee was 
appointed of the Rev. Robert Andrews, the Rev. 
John Bracken, Hon. John Blair, and John Page, 
Esquire. 

Resolved, That the standing committee frame 
rules for the orderly management of business in 
future Conventions, and report them to the next 
Convention. 

Resolved, That the standing committee be 
instructed to consider of the proper means of 
obtaining consecration for a bishop to officiate 
in this church ; of sending the person who may 
be hereafter appointed to be consecrated ; and 
of supporting him during his continuance in 
office ; and to make their report to the next 
Convention. 

Resolved, That it be recommended to the 
several vestries always to keep in office a depu- 
tation to the Convention of this church. 

Resolved, That a committee be appointed to 
revise and publish the journals of the Conven- 
tions : And a committee was appointed of Mr. 
Blair, Mr. Randolph, Mr. Fairfax, Rev. Mr. 
Griffith, Rev. Mr. Andrews, and Rev. Mr. 
Buchanan. 

Resolved, That the committee appointed to 
revise and publish the journals apply the money 
now contributed to the payment of the door- 
keepers, publishing the proceedings, and de- 
fraying other necessary expenses of this Con- 
vention. 

The Convention adjourned. 

• Signed by order of the Convention, 

James Madison, President. 

Attest, RoBKKT Andrews, Secretary. 



12 



CONVENTION OF 1786. 



Journal of a Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Virginia, begun and held at the 
Public Buildings in the City of Richmond, on Wednesday, the 24/A of May, 1786. 

A List of the Members of the Convention. 



Counties. 

Accomack, 

Albemarle, 

Amherst, 

Brunswick, 

Chesterfield, 

Cumberland, 

Caroline, 

Chesterfield, 

Culpepper, 

Charles City, 

Dinwiddie, 

Elizabeth City, 

Essex, 

Fairfax, 

Gloucester, 
Goochland, 

Hanover, 

Henrico, 
Isle of White, 
King William, 



King and Queen, 

Lunenburg, ' 
Louisa, 
Lancaster, 
Middlesex, 

Mecklenburg, 

Nansemond, 

Norfolk, 

Northumberland, 

Orange, 

Prince William, 

Prince George, 

Richmond, 

Spotsylvania,' 

Stafford, 
Southampton, 
Williamsburg, 
York, 



«St. 

]st. 

(St. 



Parishes. 
St. George, 
Accomack, 
Fredericksville, 

Lexington, 

St. Andrews, 

Manchester, 

Littleton, 

St. Asaph, 
Margarets, 
Mary, 

Dale, 

St. Mark, 

Westover, 

Bath, 

Bath, 

South Farnham, 
Fairfa.t, 
( Abindon, 
( Petsworth, 

St. James Northam, 

St. Paul, 
Henrico, 

St. Johns, 
St. David, 

St. Stephens, 

Cumberland, 
Trinity, 
Christ Church, 
Christ Church, 

St. James, 

Suffolk, 

Portsmouth, 

Wicomico, 

St. Thomas, 

Deltingen, 
( Bristol, 
( Martin's Brandon, 

Farnham, 

Berkeley, 

Brunswick, 
St. Luke, 
Bruton, 
York Hampton, 



Clerg}'men. 
Theophilus Nugent. 



Charles Clay. 

James Taylor. 
Archibald Dick. 



John Dunbar. 



William Bland. 



David Griffith. 



John Buchanan. 
Henry Skyring. 



es Craig. 



Samuel Klug. 



John Leland. 



John Cameron. 
Benjamin Blagrove. 



John Bracken. 
Samuel Shield. 



Lay Deputies. 

A. Armstead. 
John Walker. 
( Hugh Rose. 

< Roderic M'CuUoch. 
John Jones. 
W^illiani Fleming. 
Mayo Carrington. 
John Page. 

Robert Gilchrist. 
Archibald Cary. 
Robert Slaughter. 

William Withers. 
Wilson Miles Cary. 
John Edmondson. 

John Page. 

Matt. Ander.'son. 
( Thomas M Randolph. 
( Thomas Underwood. 

< John Pendleton. 
\ Park Goodall. 

Nathaniel Wilkinson. 

John S. Wells. 

Carter Braxton. 
( Benjamin Temple. 
\ William Spiller. 

< Anderson Scot. 
\ Thomas Hill. 

Thomas Buford. 
Charles Yancy. 
Cyrus Griffin. 
Ralph Wormeley. 
( Samuel Goode. 

< William Hepburn. 
W'illiam Eley. 
William Westcote. 
Thomas Gaskins. 

( M'illiam Moore. 
\ Thomas Barber. 

Jesse Ewell. 

Robert Boiling. 

William Peachey. 
( John Dawson. 

< Beverley W'inslow. 
William Fitzhugh. 
Benjamin Blunt. 
John Blair. 

Hugh Nelson. 



The Convention met according to appoint- 
ment; but there not being a sufficient number 
of members to proceed on business, they ad- 
journed till to-morrow, 10 o'clock. 

Thursday, M.^y 25, 1786. 

The Convention having met according to 
adjournment, 

The Reverend John Bracken was unanimous- 
ly appointed Secretary to the Convention. 



The Reverend James Madison, D. D., was 
unanimously elected President. 

Ordered, That a committee be appointed to 
examine and report to the Convention the cer- 
tificates of appointment of the sitting members ; 
and a committee was appointed of the Rev. 
Mr. Shield, Mr. Page, of Gloucester, Rev. Mr. 
Griffith, and Mr. Wilson M. Cary. 

Mr. Blair, from the standing committee, laid 
btefore the Convention the report of the depu- 



CONVENTION OF 1786. 



13 



ties to the late General Convention held at 
Philadelphia, with the journal of the same, and 
also a letter from the archbishops and sundry 
bishops of the Church of England to the cleri- 
cal and lay deputies of the Protestant Episco- 
pal Church in sundry of the United States of 
America, which were read, and ordered to lie 
on the table. 

On a motion made, Resolved, That the report 
of the late delegates of this church in General 
Convention made to the standing committee, 
and by them laid before this Convention, be re- 
ferred to a select committee ; and that they be 
directed to collect into one view the several 
alterations made in the Book of CommowPrayer, 
and report the same to this Convention : And a 
committee was appointed of the Reverend Mr. 
Griffith, Mr. Page, of Gloucester, Reverend Mr. 
Shield, Mr. Braxton, Rev. Mr. Buchanan, Mr. 
Walker, Hon. Mr. Fleming, and Rev. Mr. Clay. 

The treasurer laid before the Convention an 
account of all moneys received and disbursed by 
him. 

Ordered, That it lie on the table. 

On a motion made, Resolved, That the General 
Ecclesiastical Constitution of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in the United States of Ameri- 
ca, recommended by the General Convention 
held at Philadelphia, be now referred to a com- 
mittee of the whole Convention. 

The Convention, according to order, resolved 
itself into a committee of the whole Conven- 
tion, to lake into consideration the General 
Ecclesiastical Constitution of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in America ; and, after some 
time spent therein, Mr. President resumed the 
chair, and Mr. Braxton reported, that the com- 
mittee hnd, according to order, taken tne same 
into consideration, and come to the following 
resolution, which w^as read, and agreed to. 

Resolved, That the General Ecclesiastical 
Constitution of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
in the United States of America, as proposed by 
the late General Convention held at Philadel- 
phia, be approved and ratified, except as to the 
4th, 9th, and lOlh articles, which are reserved 
for farther consideration. 

Ordered, That his excellency the Governor, 
the members of the Council, and the Judges of 
the Supreme Courts, be admitted to seats within 
the bar. 

On a motion. Resolved, That a petition be pre- 
sented to the next General Assembly, praying 
that the act incorporating the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church may not be repealed ; and that it 
be recommended to the several parishes to pre- 
sent petitions of a similar nature. 

Ordered, That a committee be appointed to 
prepare the petition. And a committee was 
appointed of the Honourable John Blair, Rever- 
end Mr. Griffith, Hon. A. Caiy, Reverend Mr. 
Shield, Mr. Page, of Gloucester, Mr. Braxton, 
Rev. Mr. Skyrinjr, and Rev. Mr. Buchanan. 

On a motion. Resolved, That it be referred to 
the select committee to collect the matters unfin- 
ished by llip last Convention, which were refer- 
red to this Convention, and make report thereof 

A re^rt from the standing committee was . 



presented by the Honourable John Blair, and 
read, as followeth : — 

The committee, to whom it was referred to 
frame rules for the orderly management of busi- 
ness in future Conventions, and report them to 
this Convention, have had that subject under 
consideration, and after the maturest reflection, 
are of opinion, that they can devise no set of 
rules fitter to be adopted than those which 
regulate the proceedings of the House of Dele- 
gates : — That with respect to another part of 
their instructions, which was to consider of the 
proper means of obtaining consecration for a 
bishop to officiate in their church, they thought 
it unnecessary for them to take any step of that 
sort, after it came to their knowledge that the 
late General Convention held at Philadelphia 
had taken up that business in behalf of this 
church in the several United States of Ameri- 
ca ; but with respect to the means of supporting 
a bishop during his continuance in office, they 
are of opinion, it can only be done by a regular 
subscription throughout the several parishes. 

Adjourned till to-morrow, 10 o'clock. 

Friday, May 26, 1786. 

The Convention having met according to ad- 
journment. 

Ordered, That the thanks of the Convention be 
given to the Reverend Mr. Madison for his ser- 
mon preached this morning, and that he be de- 
sired to print the same. 

The Reverend Mr. Griffith, from the select 
committee appointed to take under considera- 
tion the report of the late delegates of this 
church in General Convention, made to the 
standing committee, and by them laid before 
this Convention, and to collect into one view 
the several alterations made in the Book of 
Common Prayer, reported, That they had, ac- 
cording to order, gone through the business to 
them referred, and that he was ready to make 
report when the Convention should be pleased 
to receive it. 

Resolved, That the report be now received, 
and referred to a committee of the whole Con- 
vention. 

The Convention, according to order, resolved 
itself into a committee of the whole Convention, 
to take under consideration the aforesaid report ; 
and, after some time spent therein, Mr. Presi- 
dent resumed the chair, and Mr. Braxton re- 
ported, That the said committee had, according 
to order, taken under consideration the busi- 
ness to them referred, and had made some 
progress in the same ; but that not having had 
time to go through it, he was directed to move 
that the said committee have leave to sit again. 

Ordered, That the said committee sit again 
to-morrow. 

Honourable Mr. Blair, from the committee 
appointed to prepare a petition to the next 
General Assembly, presented a draught of such 
petition, which was read, and ordered to be re- 
ferred to a committee of the whole Convention 
to-morrow. 

The Convention adjourned till to-monow, 
10 o'clcrck. 



14 



CONVENTION OF 1786. 



Saturday, May 27, 1786. 

Reverend Mr. Shield, from the committee 
appointed to examine the certificates of appoint- 
ment of the silting members, reported, That the 
said committee had, according to order, ex- 
amined the same, and had come to a resolution 
thereupon, which was read, and ordered to lie 
on the table. 

On a motion, Ordered, That the secretary at 
the table add to the list of sitting members re- 
ported by the aforesaid committee, the names 
of such other members as shall produce satis- 
factory proofs of thpir appointment. 

Reverend Mr. Griffith, from the select com- 
mittee to whom it was referred to collect the 
matters unfinished by the last Convention, re- 
ported. That the said committee had, according 
to order, gone through the business to them re- 
ferred, and come to some resolutions thereon, 
which were read, and agreed to, as folioweth : 

Resolved, That the different parishes which 
have not made a return of the provision made 
for their clergvmen, be now addressed to make 
such returns to the standing committee appoint- 
ed by this Convention: And that it be also rec- 
ommended to those parishes which have not 
paid in their five pounds, required by the last 
Convention, now to make payment. 

Resolved, That a committee be appointed to 
lay off this state into districts, and to nominate 
a visiter in each, agreeably to the eighth canon 
of this church ; and a committee was appointed 
of the Hon. A. Cary, Honourable Mr. Fleming, 
Mr. Mayo Carringlon, Mr. John S. Wells, Rev. 
Mr. Clay, Rev. Mr. Craig, Mr. John Walker, 
Rev. Mr. Shield, Mr. Barber, Rev. Mr. Sky- 
ring, Mr. Armstead, Rev. Mr. Nugent, Rev. 
Mr.' Griffith, Rev. Mr. Leland, Mr. Peachey, 
Rev. Mr. King, and Mr. Jones. 

Resolved, That a standing committee ought 
to be appointed \o correspond with the English 
bishops, and to carry into effect the directions 
of this Convention, and that their powers be de- 
fined. And a committee was appointed of the 
Rev. Mr. Madison, Hon. Mr. Blair, Mr. Page, 
of Gloucester, Rev. Mr. Shield, Rev. Mr. 
Bracken, and Mr. H. Nelson. 

Resolved, That delegates be appointed to the 
General Convention to be held at Philadelphia 
in June next, and that their powers be defined 
by instructions. 

Resolved, That a committee bo appointed to 
adjust the treasurer's accounts, and the ac- 
counts of the late delegates to the General 
Convention, and make report thereof: And a 
committee was appointed of the Honourable 
Mr. Braxton, Rev. Mr. Skyring, Mr. Griffin, 
and Rev. Mr. Shield. 

Resolved, That the journals of this Conven- 
tion be printed, and j^aid for by the treasurer, 
and that copies be transmitted to such parishes 
as were represented in the last and in the pres- 
ent Convention ; and that one or two copies of 
the journal of the late General Convention now 
on hand be also sent to the different parishes. 

Resolved, That the treasurer be requested to 
•end such recommendations to the different 



parishes as are directed by this Convention, and 
to desire that returns may be made to him in 
pursuance thereof 

On a motion. Resolved, That a committee bo 
appointed to consider what powers ought to be 
committed to the siandmg committee, and also 
to draw up instructions to the delegates who 
shall be appointed to the next General Conven- 
tion. And a committee was appointed of Mr. 
Wormeley, Mr. Braxton, Mr. Page, of Caroline, 
Mr. Walker, iMr. W. M Cary, Reverend Mr. 
Skyring, Reverend Mr. Buchanan, Reverend 
Mr. Iceland, Reverend Mr. Craig, and Reverend 
Mr. Clay. 

On a«motion, Resolved, That two committees 
be appointed with pow-crs to grant testimonials 
to candidates for parishes ; that they be con- 
fined within certain districts ; and that the said 
districts be laid off by the committee appointed 
to define the powers of the standing committee. 

The Convention, according to the order of 
the day, resolved itself into a committee of the 
whole Convention, to take under consideration 
the report of the select committee on the seve- 
ral alterations in the Book of Common Prayer, 
as recommended by the late General Conven- 
tion ; and after some time spent therein, Mr. 
President resumed the chair, and Mr. Braxton 
reported. That the said committee had, accord- 
ing to order, taken under consideration the 
business to them referred, and had made some 
progress in the same ; but that not having had 
time to go through it. he was directed to move 
that the said committee have leave to sit again. 

Ordered, That the Convention will, on Mon- 
day next, resolve itself into a committee of the 
whole Qonvention, to take under consideration 
the aforesaid report. 

On a motion. Resolved, That the report of 
the select committee, so far as relates to the 
articles of religion, be referred to the considera- 
tion of a private committee, and that the com- 
mittee of the whole Convention be discharged 
from the farther consideration of the same. 
And a committee was appointed of Mr. Page, 
of Gloucester, Hon. Mr. Blair, Rev. Mr. Shield, 
Rev. Mr. Griffith, Rev. Mr. Bracken, Mr. W. 
M. Cary, Rev. Mr. Clay, Mr. Wormeley, Rev. 
Mr. Skyring, Mr. Griffin, Mr. Walker, Rev. 
Mr. Buchanan, Rev. Mr. Craig, Rev. Mr. Tay- 
lor, Mr. Rose, Rev. Mr. Cameron, Rev. Mr. 
Bland, Hon. Mr. Fleming, Mr. Edmondson, 
Rev. Mr. Dick, Mr. Gilchrist, and Rev. Mr. 
Leland. 

The Convention, according to the order of 
the day, resolved itself into a committee of 
the wiiolc, to take under consideration the 
draught of a petition to the next General Assem- 
blv ; and after some time spent therein, Mr. 
President resumed the chair, and the Hon. Mr. 
Blair reported. That the said committee had, 
according to order, considered the same, and 
made some amendments therein, which were 
read, and agreed to. 

Ordered, That the secretary be authorized to 
employ an assistant. 

The Convention adjourned till Monday next, 
10 o'clock. 



CONVENTION OF 17&0. 



15 



Monday, May 29, 1786. 1 

The ConYcntion having met according to ad- 
journincnt, 

Mr. Page, from the committee appointed to 
consider liic report of the .select committee, so 
far as relates to the articles of religion, re[iortcd. 
That they had gone through the business to them 
referred, and come to several resolutions there- 
on, which were read, and ordered to be referred 
to a conmiittec of the whole Convention. 

The Convention having, according to order, 
resolved itself into a committee of the whole 
Convention on the report above referred — after 
some time spent therein, Mr. President resumed 
tiie chair, and the Hon. Mr. Blair reported, That 
the said committee had, according to order, 
gone through the business to them referred, 
and made some amendments therein, which 
were read, and, when farther amended, agreed 
to, as followcth : — 

Resolved, That the first article of religion be 
agreed to. 

In the second article, lines 13th and 14lh, 
strike out the words was never any, and insert, 
there is no. 

Resolved, That such part of the second arti- 
cle as relates to the books commonly called 
Apocryphal, ought to be expunged. 

Resolved, That the third article be agreed to. 

In the fourth article, after the word creed, in- 
sert, as contained in the Book of Common 
Prayer recommended by the late General Con- 
vention. 

Resolved, That the fifth and sixth articles be 
agreed to. 

In the 7th article, strike out the words justi- 
fied by faith only, in the seventh line, and in- 
sert, thus justified by faith. 

Resolved, that the 8th, 9th, and 10th arti- 
cles be agreed to. 

Resolved, That the eleventh article on pre- 
destination be omitted. 

Resolved, That the 12th, 13th, and 14th ar- 
ticles be agreed to. 

In the 15th article, strike out the first clause 
as unnecessary. 

In the I6lh article, strike out the words, as 
by an instrument, in the seventh line. 

In the 17th article, strike out all that relates 
to transubstaniiation. 

Resolved, That the 18th, 19th, and 20th arti- 
cles be agreed to. 

On a motion, Resolved, That the Convention 
will to-morrow proceed by ballot to the appoint- 
ment of deputies to the next General Conven- 
tion. 

On a motion. Resolved, That the committee 
appointed to draw up instructions for the depu- 
ties to the General Convention be directed, 
among other things, to instnict them to move 
for such alterations in the Book of Common 
Prayer and Articles of Religion as shall be 
agreed to by this Convention, as fit to be pro- 
posed to the General Convention. 

Resolved, That the order of the day for the 
Convention to resolve itself into a committee 
of the whole Convention on the report of the 
sfclect cominillee, bo put off until tb-morrtrw. 



The Convention adjourned till lo-morrow, 
10 o'clock. 

Tuesday, May 30, 178G. 

On a motion, Ordered, That the thanks of 
this Convention be given -to the late deputies 
who attended the General Convention held at 
Philadelphia, for their diligent attention to the 
interests of the church, and faithful discharge 
of the duties of their appointment. 

Mr. Wormeley, from the committee appointed 
to draw up instructions for the deputies to the 
next General Convention, presented a draught 
of such instructions, which were read, and, with 
some amendments, agreed to as foUoweth ; — 

Gentlemen, — You are instructed to move for 
such alterations in the Book of Common Pray- 
er and Articles of Religion as shall be agreed 
to by this Convention as fit to be proposed to 
the General Convention. 

We consider the Protestant Episcopal Church 
in America as an incorporate society, and there- 
fore unity in doctrine and worship its character- 
istic : Conformably to this, you will not carp at 
expression, nor carry your objections to unes- 
sential points ; guarding against schisms by all 
possible means, and giving our church every 
benefit and strength it can acquire from union. 

It is superfluous to observe to you, that the 
sooner our church can have the benefit of 
episcopal superintendence, the nearer it will 
approach to perfection ; and to recommend to 
your attention the aid of this necessary character. 

Mr. Wormeley, from the committee to whom 
was referred the consideration of the powers to 
be given to the standing committee, reported. 
That they had, according to order, had the same 
under their consideration, and had come to the 
following resolution thereon, which was read 
and agreed to. 

Resolved, That the standing committee ap- 
pointed by this Convention shall have power 
to correspond with the Protestant archbishops 
and bishops in Europe, and with any society 
or societies of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
in these United States, on any matters relating 
to the church ; — to call a meeting of the Con- 
vention whensoever it shall to them seem 
necessary ; — to receive complaints against the 
clergy, and to -direct Courts of Examination 
pursuant to the rules for the government of the 
church ; — to grant testimonials to all persons, 
candidates for parishes, and not citizens of this 
state, who may apply for the same ; — to make 
such representations on behalf of the church, 
as may from time to time be expedient ; — to 
give advice on difficulties propounded to them 
concerning the church during the recess of 
Convention ; — and to do all other things rec- 
ommended by the Convention, and not by them 
assigned to others to execute ; — and to report 
their proceedings to every succeeding Conven- 
tion. 

The Honourable A. Gary, from the committee 
appointed to lay off this state into districts, in 
conformity to the eighth canon for the order, 
government, and discipline of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church, reported, That they had gone 



16 



CONVENTION OF 1786. 



through the business to them referred, and had 
come to some resolutions thereon, which were 
read and agreed to, as foUoweth : — 

Resolved, That the State of Virginia ought 
to be divided into twenty-four districts, for as- 
sembhng the ministers annually in presbytery, 
and for several other purposes, as set forth in 
the eighth canon. 

Resolved, That the twenty- four districts be 
adjusted according to the senatorial division, 
except where the line of a district divides a 
parish ; in which case the parish so divided 
shall be considered as belonging to that district 
in which its glebe is situate. 

District No. 1, containing the counties of 
Chesterfield, Amelia, Cumberland, and Powhat- 
an, of which district the Rev. Mr. William 
Leigh is appointed Visiter. 

District No. 2, containing the counties of 
Brunswick, Greensville, Lunenburg, and Meck- 
lenburg, the Rev. Mr. Craig, Visiter 

District No. 3, containing the counties of 
Charles City, James City, New Kent, the Rev. 
Mr. Madison, Visiter. 

District No. 4, containing the counties of 
Henrico, Goochland, Louisa, the Rev. Mr. Bu- 
chanan, Visiter. 

District No. 5, containing the- counties of 
Augusta, Rockingham, Rockbridge, Shenan- 
doah. 

District No 6, containing the counties of 
Lancaster, Richmond, and Northumberland, the 
Rev. Mr. Leland, Visiter. 

District No. 7, containing the counties of 
Isle of Wight, Surry, and Prince George, the 
Rev. Mr. Burgess, Visiter. 

District No. 8, containing the counties of 
Charlotte, Halifax, and Prince Edward. 

District No. 9, containing the coimties of 
Gloucester and Middlesex, the Rev. Mr. Klug, 
Visiter. 

District No. 10, containing the counties of 
Spot.sylvania, Orange, and Culpepper, the Rev. 
Mr. Stevenson, Visiter. 

District No. 11, containing the counties of 
Loudoun and Fauquier, the Rev. Mr. Craig, 
Visiter. 

District No. 12, containing the counties of 
Frederick, Berkeley, Hampshire, and Hardy. 

District No. 13, containing the counties of 
Dinwiddle, Southampton, and Sussex, the Rev. 
Mr. Giirley, Visiter. 

District No. 14, containing the counties of 
Botetourt, Washington, Montgomery, Jefferson, 
Fayette, Lincoln, Nelson, Greenbrier, and such 
other counties as were made from these the last 
session of Assembly. 

District No. 15, containing the counties of 
Hanover and Caroline, the Rev. Mr. Dick, 
Visiter. 

District No. 16, containing the counties of 
Essex, King William, King and Queen, the 
Rev. Mr. Skyring, Visiter. 

District No. 17, containmg the counties of 
Prince William and Fairfax, the Rev. Mr. 
Griffith, Visiter. 

District No. 18, containing the counties of 
Ohio, Monongahala, and Harrison. 



District No. 19, containing the counties of 
Accomack and Northampton, the Rev. Mr. 
M'Croskey, Visiter. 

District No. 20, containing the counties of 
Princess Anne, Norfolk, and Nansemond, the 
Rev. Mr. Emmerson, Visiter. 

District No. 21, containing the counties of 
Buckingham, Albemarle, Amherst, and Fluvan- 
nah, the Rev. Mr. Maury, Visiter. 

District No. 22, containing the counties of 
Bedford, Henry, Campbell, Pittsylvania, and 
Franklin, the Rev. Mr. Holt, Visiter. 

District No. 23, containing the counties of 
Elizabeth City, Warwick, and York, the Rev. 
Mr. Bracken, Visiter. 

District No. 24, containing the counties of 
Westmoreland, Stafford, and King George, the 
Rev. Mr. Thornton, Visiter. 

On a motion. Resolved, That a third com- 
mittee be appointed to grant testimonials to 
citizens candidates for parishes, who may apply 
within the district of the same. 

The Convention resolved itself into a com- 
mittee of the whole Convention, to take under 
their farther consideration the report of the se- 
lect committee on the several alterations made 
in the Book of Common Prayer recommended 
by the late General Convention ; and alter 
some time spent therein, Mr. President resumed 
the chair, and Mr. Braxton reported. That the 
committee had, according to order, gone through 
the business above referred to them, and had 
come to a resolution on the same, which was 
read, and, after some amendments, agreed to, as 
followeth : — 

Resolved, That the Book of Common Prayer, 
as recommended by the late General Conven- 
tion, be approved, ratified, and used, except the 
Rubric before the Communion Service, and such 
alterations of the Articles as are referred to the 
consideration of the next General Convention ; 
and that the Psalms be used as heretofore, un- 
til a sufficient number of the new books can be 
procured. 

On a motion by Mr. W. M. Cary, that the 
yeas and nays be taken on the above resolution, 
they stood as followeth : — 

John Walker, Robert Slaughter, William 
Withers, John Edmondson, John Page, John 
Pendleton, Nathaniel Wilkinson, Carter Brax- 
ton, Thomas Buford, Rev. Archibald Dick, 
Rev. William Bland, Rev. D. GrilTith, Rev. 
John Buchanan, Rev. James (3raig, Charles 
Yancey, Ralph Wormeley, Thomas Barber, Jes- 
se Ewoll, Benjamin Blunt, Robert Bolhng, 
Rev. S. Klug, Rev. Samuel Shield, Rev. 
John Cameron, Rev. John Leland, Rev. John 
Bracken, Samuel Goode, John Jones, William 
Peachey, Archibald Cary, Thomas Gaskins, A. 
Armstead, Anderson Scot, voted in the affu-raa- 
tive. 

Rev. James Madison, William Fleming, Mayo 
(^arrington, Robert Gilchrist, Wilson M. Cary, 
Thomas Underwood, Matt. Anderson, Benjamin 
Tem|jle, William Spiller, Rev. Charles Clay, 
Rev James Taylor, Rev. Henry Skyring, Cyrus 
Grilfin, V\'illiani Westcote, William Eley. Wil- 
liam Moore, John Dawson, Beverley Winslow, 



CONVENTION OF 1786. 



17 



William Fitzhugh, Thomas Hill, voted in the 
negative. 

Mr. Braxton, from the committee appointed 
to examine the treasurer's accounts, reported, 
That they had, according to order, exaniinod the 
same, and found tlie balance in his hands to be 
133/. 6*. 9d. 

On a motion, Resolved, That the order of the 
day for the Convention to proceed by ballot to 
the appointment of deputies to the next General 
Convention, be put off till to-morrow. 

On a motion. Resolved, That only one cleri- 
cal and one lay deputy be appointed to the next 
General Convention. 

The Convention adjourned till to-morrow 
morning, 8 o'clock. 

Wednesday, May 31, 1786. 

Ordered, That the Rev. John Bracken have 
leave of absence during the remainder of this 
Convention, on Mr. M. Anderson's supplying 
his place as secretary. 

Mr. Wormeley, from the committee to whom 
It was referred to lav off districts for granting 
testimonials to candidates for parishes, reported. 
That they had, according to order, gone through 
the business to them referred, and had come to 
some resolutions thereon, which were read, 
and, with some amendments, agreed to, as fol- 
loweth ; — 

Resolved, That the first or southern distric 
be bounded by James river and the North 
Carolina Ime, extending westward to our 
limits. 

Resolved, That the second district be be- 
tween James river and Rappahannock, extend- 
ing westward to our limits, and that it include 
the two counties on the eastern shore. 

Resolved, That the third district be that 
tract of country known by the name of the 
Northern Neck, including all that territory not 
included in the two former districts. 

On a motion, Resolved, That three commit- 
tees for granting testimonials to citizens candi- 
dates for parishes be now appointed, one for 
each district. 

And a committee was appointed for the first 
district, of the Rev. Mr. Leigh, Rev. Mr. Cam- 
eron, Rev. Mr. Blagrove, Hon. A. Cary, Mr. 
Bannister, and Mr. R. Boiling, or any three of 
them. 

For the second district a committee was ap- 
pointed of the Hon. Edmund Pendleton, Rev. 
Mr. Dick, Rev. Mr. Waugh, Rev. Mr. Taylor, 
Mr. Gilchrist, and Mr. Hoomes, or any three of 
them. 

For the third district a committee was ap- 
pointed of the Rev. Mr. Griffith, Mr. Grayson, 
Mr. Buckner, Mr. Fitzhugh, of Chatham, Mr. B. 
Fairfax, and Mr. Jesse Ewell, or any three of 
them. 

Resolved, That it be recommended to the 
different vestries within this state to collect 
from their parishioners such sums of money as 
they can get subscribed, for the purpose of 
raising a fund to pay the expenses of obtaining 
consecration for a bishop, and for his support 
when appointed. The money, when collected, 

B 



must be sent to the treasurer appointed by the 
Convention, who is directed ^to report the 
amount of such returns to the standing com- 
mittee ; and they are hereby required, upon the 
appointment of a bishop, and after paying the 
expenses attending his consecration, to lay or 
let out the residue in such manner as shall to 
them appear most advisable. 

Resolved, That the Convention do now pro- 
ceed, by ballot, to the appointment of a person 
proper to be recommended for consecration as 
bishop of this state. 

Honourable Mr. Braxton, Mr. Page, Rev. 
Mr. Cameron, and the Rev. Mr. Craig, were 
appointed a committee to examine the ballots, 
who, having withdrawn and examined the same, 
reported, That they had found the numbers for 
the several persons balloted for to be as follow- 
eth : — 

For the Reverend David Griffith, 32 ; Rev- 
erend John Bracken, 10 ; Reverend Samuel 
Shield, 7. 

And it appearing from the report that a ma- 
jority of the whole Convention was in favour of 
the Reverend Mr. Griffith, 

Resolved, therefore. That the Reverend D. 
Griffith be recommended as a proper person to 
be consecrated bishop for this state. 

Resolved, That this Convention will, after 
consecration, receive the said D. Griffith as 
bishop. 

The Convention, according to the order of 
the day, proceeded by ballot to the appointment 
of deputies to attend the General Convention 
appointed to be held in Philadelphia ; and Mr. 
Page, Mr. Edmondson, the Rev. Mr. Cameron, 
and the Rev. Mr. Craig, were appointed a com- 
mittee to examine the ballots ; who, having 
withdrawn and examined the same, reported, 
That they found the numbers for the several per- 
sons balloted for to be as followeth : 

For Cyrus Griffin, Esq., 40 ; the Reverend 
David Griffith, 32 ; Reverend John Bracken, 9 ; 
Reverend Samuel Shield, 4 ; John Walker, 
Esq., 2 ; Ralph Wormeley, Esq., 1. 

And it appearing from the report that a ma- 
jority of the whole Convention were in favour 
of Cyrus Griffin and Mr. Griffith, 

Resolved, therefore, That Cyrus Griffin, Esq. 
and the Rev. David Griffith be appointed 
deputies to the General Convention of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church, appointed to be 
held in the city of Philadelphia on the third 
Tuesday of June next. 

The Convention resolved itself into a com- 
mittee of the whole Convention, to take under 
their consideration the 4th, 9th, and 10th arti- 
cles of the General Ecclesiastical Constitution 
of the Protestant Episcopal Church ; and after 
some time spent therein, Mr. President resumed 
the chair, and Mr. W. M. Cary reported, that 
the committee had, according to order, con- 
sidered the same, and come to a resolution 
thereon, which was read, and agreed to, as fol- 
loweth : — 

Resolved, That the 4th, 9th, and 10th arti- 
cles of the General Ecclesiastical Constitution 
be a^eed to. 



18 



CONVENTION OF 1787. 



On a motion, Resolved, That the treasurer 
DC directed to |)ay to the two deputies appoint- 
ed to attend the next General Convention the 
sum of forty pounds each. 

Resolved, That the treasurer be directed 
to pay to Mr. William Pierce the sum of five 
pounds for his services. 



Resolved, That the treasurer be allowed the 
sum of twenty pounds for his last year's services. 
The Convention then adjourned. 
Signed by order of the Convention, 

James Madison, President. 
Attest, J Bracken, Secretary. 

M. Anderson, Sec. j/ro tern. 



Journal of a Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Virginia, held at the Public 
Buildings, in the City of Richmond, May I6th, 1787. 

A List of the Members of the Convention. 
Clergymen. 



Counties. 
Brunswick, 

Caroline, 

Charles City, 

Chesterfield, 



Parishes. 

St. Andrews, 
I Drysdale, 
< St. Asaph, 
( St. Margaret, 

Westover, 

Dale, 



Jesse Carter. 
James Taylor. 
Archibald Dick. 
Benjamin Blagrove. 



Manchester, 

Fairfax, 

Abingdon, 

Frederick, 

St. Jas. Northam, 

St. Paul, 

St. Martins, 
Henrico, 
James City, 
St. Stephens, 
St. John, 

St. David, 

Cumberland, 
Blisland, 
St. Brides, 
Wicomico, 
( Southam, 

J King William, 

Bristol, 

iSt. George, 
Berkeley, 
Bruton, 
York Hampton, 

Wednesday, May 16. 

The Convention met, and there not being a 
sufficient number of members to proceed to 
business, adjourned till to-morrow 10 o'clock. 
Thursday, May 17. 

The Convention having met, the Rev. J. 
Bracken was unanimously appointed Secretary 
to the Convention. 

The Rev. Dr. Griffith was unanimously elect- 
ed President. 

Ordered, That a committee be appointed to 
examine and report the certificates of appoint- 
ment of the sitting members. 

And a com.mittee was appointed of the Hon. 
James Wood, Rev. Mr. Madison, Rev. Mr. 
Cameron, and Mr. Pendleton. 

The Rev. Mr. Madison, from the standing 



Fairfax, 
Gloucester, 
Frederick, 
Goochland, 

Hanover, 

Henrico, 
James City, 
King and Queen, 

King WiUiam, 

Lunenburg, 
New Kent, 
Norfolk, 
Northumberland, 

Powhatan, 

Prince George, 

Spotsylvania, 

Williamsburg, 
York, 



D. Griffith. 



John Buchanan. 
James Madison. 

Henry Skyring. 



James Craig. 

Needier Robinson. 
John Leland. 
John H. Saunders. 



John Cameron. 



John Bracken. 
Samuel Shield. 



Lay Deputies. 
John Jones. 

John Baylor. 

Robert Mickleborough. 

Jerman Baker. 

< David Patterson. 

{ George Markham. 

Bryan Fairfax. 
( John Page. 

< Thomas Lewis. 
James Wood. 

< Thomas Underwood. 
( Major Saunders. 

John Pendleton. 
Thomas Tinsley. 
Garland Anderson. 



Thomas Hill. 
Wm. D. Claiborne. 
Wm. Spiller. 
Ben. Temple. 
Henry Stokes. 
Burwell Bassett. 

David Ball. 
Littlebury Mosley. 
John Harris. 
Thomas Turpin. 
John Shore. 
Thomas Ryan. 
Beverley Winslow. 
Robert Andrews. 
Wm. Nelson. 



committee, laid before the Convention the jour- 
nal of a General Convention held at Philadelphia, 
September 27, 1786, the journal of another Gen- 
eral Convention, held at Wilmington, October 
10, 1786, and the proceedings of the standing 
commiiiee, with some other papers, which were 
read, and ordered to lie on the table. 

On a motion. Resolved, That this Convention 
will, in their proceedings, ol)serve the standing 
rules of the House of Delegates so far as they 
may be applicable ; except that the Convention 
will not on any occasion resolve itself into a 
committee of the whole Convention, that the 
president shall, in the chair, enjoy, in common 
with the other members of the Convention, the 
right of delivering his sentiment on any question, 
and that the yeas and nays shall not be called 
for on any question. 



CONVENTION OF 1787. 



19 



Rev. Mr. Leland reported the proceedings of 
the examining court, had on the trial of Edward 
Jones, clerk, rector of the parish of Northfarn- 
ham, Northumberland county, which were read, 
and ordered to lie on the tabic. 

On a motion. Resolved, That a committee be 
appointed to frame such rules and regulations 
for the government of the church, as the repeal 
of the act of incorporation has rendered neces- 
sary, and to revise the canons formerly made, 
and prepare such alterations in them as the 
present situation of the church requires. 

And a committee was appointed of the Rev. 
Mr. Madison, the Rev. Mr. Bracken, the Rev. 
Mr. Shield, the Rev. Mr. Taylor, the Rev. Mr. 
Cameron, the Rev. Mr. Craig, the Honourable 
James Wood, Mr. Underwood, Mr. Baker, Mr. 
Andrews, Mr. Pendleton, and Mr. Nelson. 

On a motion, Resolved, That a committee be 
appointed to take into consideration the pro- 
ceedings of the General Convention held in 
Philadelphia in June, 1786, the proceedings of 
another General Convention held in Wilming- 
ton in October, 1786, and the other papers laid 
before this Convention by the standing com- 
mittee, and that they report thereon. 

And a committee was appointed of the Rev. 
Mr. Dick, Rev. Mr. Buchanan, Rev. Mr. Ryan, 
Rev. Mr. Fairfax, Rev. Mr. Leland, Major Saun- 
ders, Mr. Baylor, Mr. Shore, and Mr. T. Lewis. 

The Convention adjourned till to-morrow, 10 
o'clock. 

Friday, May 18. 

The Convention having met, according to 
adjournment, the Rev. Mr. Madison, from the 
committee appointed to frame such rules and 
regulations for the government of the church 
as the repeal of the act of incorporation has 
rendered necessary, and to revise the canons 
formerly made, reported. That they had, accord- 
ing to order, had under their consideration the 
business to them referred ; and had in conse- 
quence thereof prepared an ordinance for ap- 
pointing vestries and other purposes ; and had 
also gone through the revision of the canons. 

Ordered, That the said ordinance and revision 
of the canons be now received and read. 

On a motion. Ordered, That the ordinance for 
appointing vestries and for other purposes be 
read a second time. 

The ordinance for appointing vestries and for 
other purposes was read a second time, and, 
with the amendments, ordered to be transcribed 
and read to-morrow a third time. 

On a motion, Ordered, That the rules for the 
order, government, and discipline of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church in Virginia, be now 
read a second time. 

The rules for the order, government, and dis- 
cipline of the Protestant Episcopal Church being 
read a second time, and amended, were ordered 
to be transcribed with the amendments, and 
read to-morrow a third time. 

The Rev. Mr. Dick, from the committee ap- 
pointed to take under their consideration the 
proceedings of a General Convention held at 
Philadelphia in June, 1786, and also the pro- 
B2 



ceedings of another General Convention held 
at Wilmington in October, 1786, and the other 
papers laid before tins Convention by the stand- 
ing committee, reported, That they had, ac- 
cording to order, gone through the business to 
them referred, an<l had come to several resolu- 
tions thereon, which were read, and, 

On a motion. Ordered to be recommitted. 

Ordered, That Mr. Baker, Mr. Jones, Mr. 
Underwood, the Rev. Mr. Madison, the Rev. 
Mr. Shield, and Mr. Andrews, be added to the 
aforesaid commitiee. 

On a motion. Ordered, That the treasurer be 
requested to lay his accounts before the Con- 
vention to-morrow. 

On a motion. Resolved, That the Convention 
will, to-morrow, proceed by ballot to appoint 
deputies to the next General Convention. 

And then the Convention adjourned till to- 
morrow, 10 o'clock. 

Saturday, May 19. 

The Convention having met, according to 
adjournment, the Rev. Mr. Dick, from the com- 
mittee appointed to take under consideration 
the proceedings of a General Convention held 
in Philadelphia in June, 1786, the proceedings 
of another General Convention held in M'^il- 
mington in October, 1786, and the other papers 
laid before tliis Convention by the standing 
committee, reported, That they had, according 
to order, gone through the business to them 
referred, and had come to several resolutions 
thereon, which were read, and, when amended, 
agreed to, as follows : — 

L Resolved, That it is the opinion of this 
committee, that the recommendation to the 
churches therein represented, not to receive 
to the pastoral charge, within their respective 
limits, clergymen professing canonical subjec- 
tion to any bishop, in any state or country, 
other than those bishops who may be duly set- 
tled in the states represented in the said Gen- 
eral Convention, ought to be acceded to. 

IL Resolved, That it is the opinion of this 
committee, that the 1st, 2d, 3d, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 
10th, and 11th articles of the General Constitu- 
tion be acceded to, and that the 4th and 9th 
articles be also acceded to, but as articles of a 
temporary nature, and not as forming a part of 
the General Constitution. 

III. Resolved, That it is the opinion of this 
committee, that the recommendation from the 
General Convention not to admit any person as 
a minister within this church who should receive 
ordination from any bishop residing in America, 
during the application pending to the English 
bishops for episcopal consecration, cannot be 
complied with. 

IV. Resolved, That it is the opinion of this 
committee, that the deputies to be appointed to 
attend the next General Convention, be instruct- 
ed to move the General Convention to expunge 
the words, " He descended into hell," inserted 
in the Apostles' Creed by the General Conven- 
tion held at Wilmington, and also whatever 
relates to the restoration of the Nicene Creed. 

V. Resolved, That it is the opinion of thia 



20 



CONVENTION OF 1787. 



committee, that the alteration made in the form 
of subscription prescribed in the 10th article of 
the General Constitution is not necessary, the 
object of it appearing to us to be provided for 
by what are called the 4th, 9ih, and 10th articles 
of the General Constitution. 

VI. Resolved, That the recommendation from 
the General Convention to the Convention of 
the several states, to authorize and empov^-er 
their deputies to the next General Convention, 
after a bishop or bishops shall be obtained m 
the church, to confirm and ratify a General 
Constitution respecting both the doctrine and 
discipline of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
of the United States of America, ought to be 
complied with. 

VII. Resolved, That it is the opinion of this 
committee, that the standmg committee have 
shown a proper and diligent attention to the in- 
terests of this church durmg the recess of the 
Convention. 

The Hon. James Wood, from the committee 
appointed to examine the certificates of appoint- 
ment of the sitting members, reported. That they 
had, according to order, examined the business to 
them referred, and had come to a resolution there- 
on, which was read, and ordered to lie on the table. 

On a motion, Resolved, That two deputies be 
appointed to attend the General Convention. 

The Convention, according to order, pro- 
ceeded to ballot for deputies to attend the next 
General Convention ; and the Rev. Mr. Shield and 
Mr. Jones were appointed to examine the ballots, 
who, having withdrawn and examined the same, 
reported. That they had found the numbers for the 
several persons balloted for to be as foUoweth : — 

Mr. Andrews, 34; Rev. Dr. Griffith, 23 ; Rev. 
Mr. Madison, 13. 

And, it appearing from the report, that a ma- 
jority of the whole Convention was in favour 
of Mr. Andrews and the Rev. Mr. Griffith, 

Resolved, therefore, That Mr. Andrews and 
the Rev. Mr. Griffith be appointed deputies to 
attend the next General Convention of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church. 

The treasurer, according to order, laid his 
accounts before the Convention. 

Ordered, That they be referred to a committee ; 
and a committee was appointed of the Rev. Mr. 
Skyring, Mr. Baker, Mr. Jones, Mr. Underwood, 
and the Rev. Mr. Craig. 

On a motion. Resolved, That a committee be 
appointed to draw up a recommendation of one 
uniform mode of supporting the clergy in this 
state ; and a committee was appointed of Mr. 
Jones, Mr. Page, Hon. James Wood, Mr. Baker, 
Mr. Andrews, Rev. Mr. Madison, Rev. Mr. 
Cameron, Rev. Mr. Shield, Rev. Mr. Craig, 
and the Rev. Mr. Skyring. 

On a motion. Resolved, That an address be 
prepared to the members of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church in this state, and that it be refer- 
red to the committee last appointed to draught 
the same. 

Resolved, That the order of the day be put ofT 
till Monday next. 

The Convention adjourned till Monday, 7 
o'clock. 



Monday, May 21. 

The Convention having met, according to 
adjournment, Mr. Baker, from the committee 
appointed to examine the treasurer's accounts, 
rej)orted. That they had, according to order, ex- 
amined the same, had found them fairly stated, 
and that the balance remaining in his hands was 
103/. 6*. lOid. 

The ordinance for appointing vestries and 
trustees, and for other purjjoses, having been 
fairly transcribed, it was read, and the blanks 
filled up ; and then it was resolved that the said 
ordinance do pass. 

The rules and canons for regulating the order, 
government, and discipline of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church in Virginia having been fairly trans- 
cribed, were read, and the blanks filled up, and 
then it was resolved that the said rules do pass. 

Mr. Jones, from the committee appointed to 
prepare and recommend one uniform mode of 
supporting the clergy, reported, That they had, 
according to order, had under consideration the 
business to them referred, and had come to some 
resolutions thereon, which were read and agreed 
to, as followelh : — 

In order that one uniform mode of supporting 
the clergy may be adopted throughout this church. 

Resolved, That it be recommended to the 
church- wardens or trustees in the different par- 
ishes, where the incumbent is not satisfied with 
the provision already made for him, so soon aa 
convenient after vestries and trustees are duly 
elected, to convene the members of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church in their respective 
parishes, and propose to such members, wheD 
convened, that they do there deliberate and de- 
termine upon the sum which they are willing 
annually to contribute to the support of the 
minister ; and that they do, by their voluntary 
consent, authorize the vestry to receive such 
sum from the members of the said church in 
proportion to the titheables possessed by each. 

Resolved, That it be further recommended to 
the different parishes, that they do agree such 
sum, when fixed upon, shall be permanent, until 
changed or altered by a majority of the society. 

Resolved, That it be recommended to the dif- 
ferent church-wardens to have similar provision 
made for the clerks, sextons, and necessary ex- 
penses of the church. 

Mr. Jones, from the committee appointed to 
prepare an address to the members of the Prot- 
estant Episco[)al Church, reported. That they 
had, according to order, had under consideration 
the business to them referred, and had prepared 
the same, which was read and agreed to, as fol- 
lows : — 

The Address of the Convention to the Members of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church in Virginia. 

We, your pastors and lay deputies, in Con- 
vention assembled, have, by the favour of Divine 
Providence, and according to the privilege secu- 
red by the laws of the country to every society 
of Christians of managing its own temporal con- 
cerns, and of regulating its discipline and wor- 
ship, instituted certain fundamental canons, 



CONVENTION OF 1787. 



made necessary by the repeal of the incorpora- 
ting act, and have framed rules for the order, 
discipline, and worship of our church. We 
think, however, that to discharge fully the duty 
we owe on this occasion to God and to yon, it 
is incumbent on us briefly to put you in mind 
of some things which remain for you to do, and 
to which, if you do not attend, all our labours 
here must be inefl'ectuai. To render our church 
truly respectable, and our institutions of service 
to the cause of Christianity, a general and reg- 
ular attendance on public worship, and the con- 
stant practice of piety and morahty, in all times 
and in all places, are indispensable. This is so 
obvious, that we trust we need only mention it 
to you. A moderate but adequate provision for 
your pastor, is another thing which must claim 
your attention and exertions. Both Scripture 
and common sense point out this to be your 
duty, and the omission of it involves conse- 
quences which no real Christian can think of 
without horror. The want of proper teachers 
must be the effect of this omission ; and igno- 
rance and error, with all their train of evils, will 
follow. The very idea of being the author of 
so great an injury to the temporal and eternal 
concerns of mankind must rouse and alarm you ; 
and, we trust, will excite your most serious en- 
deavours to provide for the preservation of the 
pure doctrines of religion. The general affairs 
of our church also require from you a small con- 
tribution. We have been careful to frame our 
institutions of a nature as simple and unex- 
pensive as possible ; but we could not constitute 
a church which would call for no support from 
its members. Recommending these things to 
your attention, and you to the Almighty gui- 
dance and protection, we are your affectionate 
brethren in Christ. 

On a motion. Ordered, That 200 copies of 
the ordinance for regulating the appointment of 
vestries, <Slc., and of the address to the mem- 
ber.sof the Protestant Episcopal Church, be im- 
mediately printed ; and that the treasurer be re- 
quested to transmit them to the several parishes. 

I. On a motion. Resolved, That the several 
parishes of this state be divided into 24 dis- 
tricts, for assembling the ministers annually in 
presbytery, and for other purposes, as set forth 
in the eighth Canon. 

II. Resolved, That the 24 districts be ad- 
justed according to the senatorial division, ex- 
cept where the line of a district divides a parish ; 
in which case, the parish so divided shall be 
considered as belonging to that district in which 
its glebe is situated. 

III. Resolved, That the several visiters ap- 
pointed by the last Convention be continued in 
their respective districts, as thereby provided ; 
except that the Rev. Mr. Fairfax be appointed 
visiter in the room of Dr. Griffith, nominated 
to be bishop ; and the Rev. John H. Saunders 
in the room of Mr. Leigh, deceased. 

IV. Resolved, That three committees be ap- 
pointed to grant testimonials to citizens, candi- 
dates for parishes, who may apply within the 
divisions of the same. 

V. Resolved, That the first or southern di- 



vision be bounded by James river and the 
North Carolina line, extending westward to the 
limits of this state. 

VI. Resolved, That the second division be be- 
tween James river and Rappahannock, extend- 
ing westward to the limits of this state, and that 
it include the two counties on the eastern shore. 

VII. Resolved, That the third division be 
that tract of country known by the name of the 
Northern Neck, and that it include all the ter- 
ritory not comprehended within the two former 
divisions. 

VIII. Resolved, That the Rev. Mr. Cameron, 
the Rev. Mr. Craig, the Rev. Mr. Gerard, Col. 
Banister, Mr. Robert Boiling, Mr. Jennan Baker, 
or any three of them, be appointed a committee 
for the first division. 

IX. Resoh'ed, That the Hon. Edmund Pen- 
dleton, the liev. Mr. Dick, the Rev. Mr. Waugh, 
the Rev. Mr. Taylor, Mr. Gilchrist, and Mr. 
Hoomes, be appointed a committee for the 
second division, or any three of them. 

X Resolved, That the Rev. Mr. Grayson, 
the Rev. Mr. Buchanan, the Rev. Mr. Fairfax, Mr. 
Fitzhugh, of Chatham, Mr. Jesse Ewell, and Dr. 
Brown, be appointed a committee for the third 
division, or any three of them. 

On a motion. Resolved, That the Rev. Mr. 
Madison, the Rev. Mr. Bracken, the Rev. Mr. 
Shield, the Hon. John Blair, Mr. Page, of Rose- 
well, and Mr. Andrews, be appointed a standing 
committee ; and that they have power to cor- 
respond with the Protestant archbishops and 
bishops in Europe, and with any society or so- 
cieties of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 
these United States, on any matters relating to 
the church ; to call a meeting of the Convention 
whensoever it shall to them seem necessary ; 
to receive complaints against the clergy, and to 
direct courts of examination pursuant to the 
rules for the government of the church ; to 
grant testimonials to all persons candidates for 
parishes, and not citizens of this state, who 
may apply for the same ; to make such repre- 
sentations on behalf of the church as may from 
time to time be expedient ; to give advice on 
difficulties propounded to them concerning the 
church during the recess of Convention ; and 
to do all other things recommended by the Con- 
vention, and not by them assigned to other's to 
execute ; and to report their proceedings to 
every succeeding Convention. 

On a motion, Resolved, That all reasonable 
expenses be allowed the deputies appointed to 
attend the next General Convention, and that 
the sum of thirty pounds be advanced to them 
on account. 

On a motion, Resolved, That the standing 
committee, without delay, request of the Right 
Rev. Dr. White, Bishop of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church in the State of Pennsylvania, and 
the Right Rev. Dr. Provost, bishop of the said 
church in the State of New-York, that they, 
or either of them, admit to consecration the 
Rev. Dr. Griffith, nominated by the last Con- 
vention bishop of the church in this state. 

On a motion. Resolved, That the standing 
committee be authorized to appoint a deputy or 



23 



.CONVENTION OF 1787. 



deputies to the General Convention, should both 
or either of the gentlfimen appointed by this 
Convention be prevented from attending. 

On a motion, Resolved, That it be recom- 
mended to the several parishes (who have not 
complied with the recommendation of the last 
Convention, to collect from then- parishioners 
such sums of money as they could get subscri- 
bed, for the purpose of raising a fund to pay the 
expenses of obtaining consecration for a bishop, 
and for his support when consecrated), to hasten 
such collections, and to forward the money when 
collected to the Rev. Mr. Buchanan, treasurer, 
who is directed to report the amount to the 
standing committee ; and they are hereby re- 
quired, after paying the above-mentioned ex- 
penses, to lay or let out the residue in such 
manner as shall to them appear most advisable. 

On a motion. Resolved, That the members 
of this (Convention proceed to sign the testimo- 
nials of the Rev. Dr. Ciriffilh. 

On a motion, Resolved, That it be recom- 
mended to the different parishes to provide funds 
for the education of two youths from their early 
years, in such a manner as to be properly quali- 
fied for discharging the important duties of the 
ministry in this church. And towards effecting 
this purpose, be it further recommended to the 
clergy, to preach annually a charity sermon in 
their respective parishes, and transmit the money 
so collected to the treasurer, which money shall 
be subject to the disposal of the bishop and the 
standing committee, who shall conjointly have 
the direction of the education of the two youths. 

And be it further resolved. That the choice 
of such youths shall reside in the bishop and the 
standing committee. 

On a motion. Resolved, That the treasurer be 
allowed five per cent, on all moneys received 
since last Convention. 

On a motion. Resolved, That 150 copies of 
the Journal of this Convention be piinted under 
the inspection of the Rev. Mr. Buchanan. 

On a motion. Resolved, That Mr. Pierce be 
allowed the sum of five pounds for his services. 

Resolved, That the next Convention be called 
to meet in the city of Richmond. 

The Convention then adjourned. 

D. Griffith, President. 
J. Bracken, Secretary. 



AN ORDINANCE FOR REGULATING THE APPOINT- 
MENT OF VESTRIES AND TRUSTEES, AND FOR 
OTHER PURPOSES. 

Whereas an act of General Assembly, which 
was passed in the year one thousand seven 
hundred and eighty-four, entitled, " An act for 
incorporating the Protestant Episcopal (Church," 
hath been repealed bv an act of the last session ; 
in consequence of which, it is supposed that the 
several powers of government and discipline in 
the said church are returned to the members at 
large ; and in order to exercise those powers, 
the members of the said church, in their several 
parishes, have elected two deputies to represent 
them in a Convention, to be held in the city of 
Richmond, on this sixteenth day of May, one 



thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, with 
full powers to deliberate upon, form, and estab- 
lish such regulations as they should judge to 
be necessary and proper for the government, 
discipline, and worship of the said church, and 
the care and direction of the social property ; in 
order to effect which purposes, it is judged ne- 
cessary that vestries should forthwith be elected 
in each parish. 

Be it therefore ordained by the deputies so 
appointed, and now met in Convention at the 
time and place prefixed. That the church-wardens 
and vestrymen in the several parishes within 
this commonwealth, who were elected into office 
in conformity to an act of General Assembly, 
passed in the year one thousand seven hundred 
and eighty-four, entitled, " An act for incorpo- 
rating the Protestant Episcopal Church," be, 
and are hereby declared and acknowledged as 
trustees for the members of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church, until a new election shall 
take place, and to hold the property, both real 
and personal, belonging to the said church, for 
their use and benefit, subject to such regula- 
tions as shall be made from time to time by the 
Convention of deputies elected by the members 
of the said church. And be it further ordained, 
that as soon as may be after notice of this ordi- 
nance, the late church-wardens, or any other 
two reputable inhabitants (being members of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church) in each parish, 
do call together, at some convenient time and 
place, by notice duly given, all the freeholders 
and housekeepers in such parish who are mem- 
bers of the said church, and contribute to the 
support thereof; then and there to elect twelve 
of the most able and discreet men of their so- 
ciety to be a vestry for such parish, and trustees 
of their property ; to continue in office until the 
Monday in Easter-week, in the year one thousand 
seven hundred and ninety, and on that day, if 
fair, otherwise the next day which is so, there 
shall be a new election of vestrymen ; and such 
elections shall continue to be made triennially 
on Easter-Monday, if fair, or the next fair day, 
until the Convention shall otherwise direct ; in- 
termediate vacancies occasioned by death, re- 
moval, or resignation, to be filled by the remain- 
ing vestrymen, and those so chosen to act until 
the period of the next general election. 

Every vestryman, before he acts in office, 
shall subscribe in vestry to be conformable to 
the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church. 

Each vestry, at their first meeting after their 
election, shall choose two of their members to 
be church-wardens, who shall superintend the 
next general election of vestrymen ; judge of 
the qualifications of voters, and certify the names 
of the persons chosen. They shall be consid- 
ered as the acting part of the vestry, and shall 
see that the orders and resolutions of the vestry 
be carried into execution. 

The vestries respectively, with the minister, 
where there is one, shall hold and enjoy all 
glebes, lands, churches, books, plate, and other 
property, now belonging or hereafter accruing 
to the said church, as trustees for the benefit 



CONVENTION OF 1787. 



23 



of the society, and may improve or demise the 
lands during the vacancy of a minister ; but may 
not demise lands allowed for the minister's hab- 
itation or use, when they have one, without his 
consent. They may also use, improve, or dis- 
pose of all personal property, and the produce, 
rents, and profits of lands (not appropriated for 
the minister) belonging to the church, for the 
benefit of the society, in erecting or repairing 
churches, glebe-houses, or otherwise ; and may 
make such rules and orders for managing the 
temporal affairs and concerns of the church, 
within their respective parishes, as they shall 
think most conducive to its interest and pros- 
perity, and for carrying into e.xecution such 
orders and rules for government and discipline, 
or other spiritual purposes, as shall be directed 
by this or any future Convention. They shall 
have the sole power of directing the payment 
of money belonging to the church within their 
respective parishes, and of appointing a clerk, 
treasurer, and collector, when they think neces- 
sary. All of which proceedings shall be fairly 
entered in a book to be kept for that purpose. 

A meeting of the hodv (to be called by the 
minister, or, if he be absent, or, in case of a 
vacancy, by the church-wardens, or by a church- 
warden, if but one within the parish, or by any 
two vestrymen, if there be no minister or church- 
warden) shall be had as often as is necessary, 
the minister to have a vote equal to, and not 
greater than a vestryman in all questions, e.\- 
cept for the demise of the glebe-lands assigned 
for his residence or use, in which he shall have 
a negative. Seven members shall be sufficient 
to constitute a meeting, and all questions shall 
be decided by a majority of those present. 

Future Conventions shall consist of two depu- 
ties from each parish, of whom the minister 
shall be one, if there be a minister, the other a 
layman, to be annually chosen by the vestry, 
who shall also choose another where there is no 
minister in the parish. And twenty -five deputies 
thus qualified and appointed shall be a Convention. 

Conventions shall regulate all the religious 
concerns of the church, its doctrines, discipline, 
and worship, and institute such rules and regu- 
lations as they mav judge necessary for the good 
government thereof, and the same revoke and 
alter at their pleasure. 

CANONS. 

I. Conventions shall be holden annually on 
the first Wednesday in May, provided neverthe- 
less, that if a sufficient number of members to 
form a Convention shall not attend on the said 
day, any five then assembled shall have power 
to adjourn. 

II. A person shall preside in Convention with 
the name of president, who shall always be a 
bishop, when there is one present properly con- 
secrated and settled in the church, till which 
time a president shall be appointed by the Con- 
vention out of their own body ; if more than 
one bishop is found necessary in this church, 
they shall preside alternately. 

III. A secretary shall be appointed by the 



Convention, who shall continue in office during 
good behaviour, who shall keep a record of their 
resolves and proceedings, and have the records 
in his custody so long as he shall continue in 
office. I 

IV. Standing rules shall be established for 
the preservation of decorum, and the orderly 
management of business. 

V. All questions, whether they relate to the 
order, government, discipline, doctrine, or wor- 
ship of this church, or to any other matter which 
is properly before the Convention, shall be de- 
termined by a majority of votes. 

VI. At all future Conventions, each member 
(whether minister or layman) shall, previous to 
his admission, [iroduce a testimonial of his being 
regularly appointed, which testimonial shall be 
signed by one or both of the church-wardens, or 
by the clerk of the respective vestries. 

VII. All the ordinances and other proceed- 
ings of the Convention shall be attested by the 
secretary. 

VIII. The clergy of several neighbouring 
parishes, not less than three nor more than 
ten, shall assemble in presbytery annually, on 
the second Wednesday in April, at some con- 
venient place in the district, to be appointed by 
a majority of the ministers in the same district ; 
one in each district shall be appointed by the 
Convention, to preside at their meetings with 
the title of visiter, who shall annually visit each 
parish in his district — shall attend to and in- 
spect the morals and conduct of the clergy — 
shall see that the canons and rules of the church 
are observed, and that no abuses are practised 
— shall admonish and reprove privately those 
clergymen who are negligent, or act in an un- 
becoming manner ; and shall report yearly to 
the bishop, if there be one, or if there be no 
bishop, to the next Convention, the stale of each 
parish in his district, noting down the offenders 
and their offences. 

IX. The clergy who shall minister in this 
church shall be the three orders of bishops, 
priests, and deacons. 

X. Every person hereafter to officiate in this 
church as a bishop, shall be nominated by the 
Convention ; and having received episcopal con- 
secration before he enters on his office, shall 
subscribe to conform to the doctrine, discipline, 
and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
of Virginia ; and no person shall be received 
into the church as a bishop until he shall have 
completed the thirtieth year of his age. 

XI. As we conceive the office of a bishop, 
according to the true apostolic institution, dif- 
fers in nothing from that of other ministers of 
God's word, except in the power of ordination 
and confirmation, and the rights of superintend- 
ing the conduct of the clergy, and of precedency 
in ecclesiastical assemblies, that office shall be 
accordingly so exercised in this church ; and 
every bishop, after his promotion to the episcopal 
order, shall continue to hold a parish, and to do 
the duty of a parish minister, except when he is 
necessarily employed in the discharge of his 
episcopal office. 

XII. No bishop shall inflict any censure upon, 



24 



CONVENTION OF 1787. 



or exercise any power over, the clergy under his 
inspection, other than he is allowed to do by the 
laws and institutions of this church made in 
Convention. 

XIII. No priest or minister shall hereafter 
be received into any parish within this common- 
wealth, unless he first produce to the vestry 
sufficient testimonials of his having been reg- 
ularly ordained a priest by some Protestant 
bishop, and of having taken the oath of allegiance 
to this commonwealth, and subscribe to be con- 
formable to the doctrine, discipline, and worship 
of the Protestant Episcopal Church ; nor till he 
shall have entered into a contract in writing 
with the vestry or trustees on behalf of the 
society within such parish, by which it shall be 
stipulated and declared that he holds the ap- 
pointment subject to removal upon the deter- 
minations of ihe Convention of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in this state. Provided, That 
any person who hath been ordained by a bishop 
of the Church of Rome, may also be received 
as a minister, who shall produce satisfactory 
testimonials respecting his ordination, morals, 
and conduct, renounce the errors of that church, 
take the oath, and subscribe as aforesaid. 

XIV. No minister shall hereafter be received 
into a parish who does not first produce to the 
vestry satisfactory testimonials of his morals, 
conduct, and conversation, from the person or 
persons appointed by the Convention to inquire 
into such matters, and grant such testimonials. 

XV. The right of presentation, or appointing 
ministers to serve in the parishes, shall continue 
in the vestries, and each vestry shall choose its 
own minister. 

XVI. Every person to be ordained priest or 
deacon by any bishop of this church, shall pro- 
duce testimonials of his good morals and orderly 
conduct from the clergy assembled in the district 
where he for some time last resided, and from 
the vestry of the parish where he last lived, 
provided there be in the district a sufficient 
number of clergymen to form a presbytery ; 
otherwise a testimonial from the minister and 
vestry of his parish, or from the vestry alone, 
if the parish is vacant, shall be deemed suffi- 
cient : Provided also, the candidate is not an 
inhabitant of some other state. No person shall 
be ordained until due examination had by the 
bishop and two priests. 

XVII. No person shall be admitted to priest's 
orders until he shall have completed the twenty- 
fourth year of his age, and is assured of the 
willingness of some parish or congregation to 
receive him as their minister, to be certified 
under the hands of the church-wardens, and at- 
tested by the clerk of the vestry. 

XVIII. Every person who shall be admitted 
either to priest's or deacon's orders, shall be 
ordained according to the form prescribed in 
the Book of Common Prayer, &c., directed to 
be used in this church ; but no person shall be 
ordained priest until he has served six months 
in the office of deacon. 

XIX. No person shall be ordained deacon 
until he shall have completed the twenty-first 
year of his age. 



XX. No person having deacon's orders only 
shall be allowed to hold a parish ; but a deacon 
may, during a vacancy, officiate in a parish, if 
chosen by the vestry to do so ; he shall preach the 
gospel, and baptize ; he may assist in administer- 
ing the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, but not 
consecrate the elements ; he may solemnize mar- 
riages, and shall attend to the situation and cir- 
cumstances of the poor when it may be necessary. 

XXI. A person may be ordained a deacon 
though he shall have no assurance of being 
called to minister in a parish or congregation, 
provided his testimonials and qualifications are 
satisfactory. 

XXII. A deacon may minister as a proba- 
tioner or missionary, under the direction of the 
Convention or the bishop. 

XXIII. The parish clerk shall be appointed 
by the minister and vestry, and displaced by 
them whenever his services are not satisfactory 
to the people, whenever he shall neglect his 
duty, or otherwise misbehave himself. 

XXIV. Sextons shall be appointed by the 
vestries, and dismissed by them when they think 
proper. 

XXV. Bishops shall be amenable to the 
Convention, who shall be a court to try them, 
from which there shall be no appeal ; on all 
such occasions, a president, who shall be a 
bishop, shall be chosen by the Convention to sit 
as judge ; and they shall also appoint a clerk to 
the court. 

XXVI. All accusations against a bishop, as 
such, shall come from the vestries ; but no ac- 
cusation against a bishop shall be received un- 
less three vestries join in the complaint ; all 
complaints against a bishop shall be lodged with 
such persons as may be appointed to call a Con- 
vention ; and a copy of the charge or charges 
to be brought against him shall be communi- 
cated to him in writing, at least two months be- 
fore the trial ; counsel may be employed on 
both sides, and none but viva voce evidence shall 
be admitted. 

XXVII. Disorderly, scandalous, and immoral 
conduct, neglect of duty, a disregard to the rules 
and canons of the church, or taking a bribe to 
grant either ordination or a recommendation for 
a vacant parish, shall be considered as ofTences 
in a bishop, for which he may be brought to 
trial ; and on his being convicted of any of 
these, he shall be reproved, suspended, or dis- 
missed, at the discretion of the court. 

XXVIII. Courts shall be instituted to ex- 
amine into complaints exhibited against minis- 
ters or deacons, to consist of six members, viz., 
three clergymen and three vestrymen from the 
nearest and most convenient parishes, one from 
each ; the appointment of said vestrymen shall 
be by lot ; the oldest clergyman in orders shall 
preside as judge ; on conviction of the minis- 
ter, the court shall report the facts, and state 
the evidence to the Convention, who shall pro- 
ceed without delay to pass such sentence as a 
majority of them shall think the ofl'ence de- 
serves, which shall be either reproof, suspension, 
or dismission. 

XXIX. No vestryman shall sit on the ex- 



CONVENTION OF 1767. 



20 



amination of a minister belonging to the parish 
wherein such vestryman resides ; the examina- 
tion shall be held in the parish where the accu- 
sed minister officiates, and at a place to be ap- 
pointed by the vestry ; the judges shall appoint 
a clerk occasionally for such examinations. 

XXX. Complaints against a minister shall be 
received from the vestry of the parish where the 
minister officiates, and from no other person or 
persons whatsoever ; they shall be signed by a 
majority of a vestry, without which no com- 
plaint shall be received ; they shall be directed 
to a bishop, or to the persons who may be ap- 
pointed by the Convention with authority to 
receive such complaints, and to direct courts of 
examination ; in every complaint, the offence or 
offences shall be stated, and the minister shall 
be furnished with a copy of the charges brought 
against him, and with notice o( his intended e.x- 
amination, at least one month before the ex- 
amination ; viva voce evidence only shall be ad- 
mitted, and that on oath, and counsel may be 
employed on both sides. 

XXXI. Disorderly, scandalous, and immoral 
conduct, neglect of duty, a disregard to the 
rules and canons of the church, or taking a 
bribe to recommend either for ordination or a 
parish, are to be considered as among the offences 
for which a minister may be brought to trial. 

XXXII. The bishop, or persons vested with 
authority for this purpose, shall, on receiving a 
complaint against any minister, immediately in- 
stitute a court, as before described, to examine 
into the complaint, and shall take care that the 
ministers and vestrymen who are to compose 
the court shall be informed in time. The 
bishop, or persons so vested with authority, shall 
cite the accused person before the appointed 
court, which shall (unless the accused person is 
prevented from attending by sickness) proceed 
to examine the testimony against the offender, 
and take the depositions of the witnesses. 

XXXIII. Deacons behaving in a scandalous, 
disorderly, or immoral manner, or who neglect 
the duty they have undertaken, shall, on full 
and satisfactory proof, be suspended or silenced 
by the bishop until the sense of the Convention 
shall be known. And the salary accruing during 
the suspension of a minister or deacon, who is 
afterward found guilty, shall go to the vestry for 
the use of the church. 

XXXIV. Bishops shall visit the different 
parishes under their inspection once in three 
years at least ; of which visitation the clergy 
or church-wardens shall have timely notice ; in 
their visitation, they shall confirm such as choose 
to receive confirmation ; they shall inspect the 



state of the parishes, and the conduct of the 
clergy, who shall give them what information 
they can respecting such ecclesiastical matters 
as they may choose to be informed of. 

XXXV. Bishops shall hold ordinations at such 
times and places as they may judge necessary 
and convenient. 

XXXVI. Bishops, after every visitation, shall 
report the state of the church in the different 
parishes to the Convention. 

XXXVII. No minister or bishop shall be 
allowed to hold more than one parish at the 
same time. Nevertheless, a minister may, if 
called thereto by the vestry, preach in a neigh- 
bouring parish or parishes during a vacancy in 
such parish or parishes, and may receive a com- 
pensation for his services, provided he has the 
consent of his own vestry, and shall not neglect 
the duties of his parish. 

XXXVIII. Every minister shall reside within 
his parish, unless a majority of his vestry shall 
agree to dispense with his residence, and shall 
at no time leave it for more than one month 
without the consent of the said vestry. 

XXXIX. Ministers shall, at their churches 
and other convenient places, instruct children, 
and such ignorant persons as may require it, in 
their catechism, and the principles of the Chris- 
tian religion as maintained by this church : Pro- 
vided this duty may be dispensed with during 
the inclement winter months. They shall also 
explain the nature of confirmation, and instruct 
and prepare their parishioners for it. 

XL. Ministers and deacons shall wear a sur- 
plice during the time of prayer at public wor- 
ship, in places where they are provided ; shall 
wear gowns when they preach, where they con- 
venien;ly can ; and shall at all times wear ap- 
parel suited to the gravity of their profession. 

XLI. Ministers and deacons may encourage 
people to assemble together in small societies 
at convenient times for their edification, and 
may visit, superintend, and instruct such socie- 
ties at their meetings ; provided they shall not 
do it to the encouragement of idleness, or to 
the injury of private families. 

XLII. Ministers officiating in this church, 
whether bishops, priests, or deacons, shall preach 
once at least on every Lord's day, and at other 
stated seasons, unless prevented by some suffi- 
cient cause ; they may at their discretion preach 
also at other times, when opportunities shall 
offer of edifying the church ; bishops and priests 
shall administer the sacrament at least four times 
in the year, at each church or place of worship 
in their respective parishes, and shall visit the 
sick when called on for that purpose. 



CONVENTION OF 1788. 

The hope was at one time entertained that a copy could be procured of the proceedings of 
every Convention which has been held in Virginia, and no pains have been spared on the part of 
the author of this work to obtain such copies. In some few instances, however, his efforts have 
been fruitless ; and he has been led to doubt whether any record of two or three of the earher 
Conventions is now in existence. He has never seen or heard of a copy of the proceedings of 
the Convention of 1788. 



CONVENTION OF 1789. 



Journal of a Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of Virginia, held in the 
City of Richmond, from May 6 to May 9, 1 789. 



A List of the Members of the Convention. 



Counties. 
Amherst, 
Caroline, 
Charles City, 
Chestei field, 
Cumberland, 
Elizabeth City, 
Goochland, 

Hanover, 

Henrico, 
Lancaster, 

Luiionburg, 

Middlesex, 

Norfolk, 

New-Kent, 

Northumberland, 

Powhatan, 

Prince George, 

Spotsylvania, 

Surry, 

Williamsburg, 

York, 



Parishes. 

Lexington, 

St. Margaret, 

Wesiover, 

Manchfster, 

Littleton, 

Elizabeth City, 

St. James Northam, 
( St. Paul, 
\ St. Martin, 

Henrico, 

Christ Church, 

Cumberland, 

Christ Church, 

Elizabeth river, 

St Peter, 

Wicomico, 

j King William, 

( Southam, 

Bristol, 
(St. George, 
( Berkeley, 

Southwark, 

Bruion, 

York-Hampton, 



Clergymen. 



William Cameron. 



Elkanah Talley. 

Peter Nelson. 
John Buchanan. 
David Ball. 



Alexander Whitehead. 
Benjamin Blagrove. 



John Cameron 
Hugh C. Boggs. 
John Bracken. 



Lay Deputies. 
Josiah Ellis. 
Thomas Rootes. 
Charles Carter. 
David Patterson. 
Mayo Carrington. 
Wilson Miles Cary. 
Thomas Underwood. 
John Pendleton. 

William Foushee. 

Martin Sherman. 

Henry Stokes. 

Philip L. Grymes. 

John Boush. 

William H. Macon 

Onesipborus Harvey. 
( Thomas Harris. 
\ John Harris. 

Edward Carrington. 

William Robertson. 

Francis Thornton, jun. 

William Allen. 
Robert Andrews. 
Abraham Archer. 



Wednesday, May 6, 1789. 
The Convention met, and there not being a 
sufficient number of members to proceed to busi- 
ness, adjourned until to-morrow at 10 o'clock. 

Thursday, May 7. 

The Convention having met, according to ad- 
journment, the Rev. John Bracken was unani- 
mously elected President of the Convention. 

Mr. Robert Andrews was unanimously ap- 
pointed Secretary. 

Ordered, That a committee be appointed to 
examine and report the certificates of appoint- 
ment of the silting members : And a commit- 
tee was appointed of the Rev. Mr. J. Cameron, 
Rev. Mr. Buchanan, Mr. Underwood, and Dr. 
Foushee. 

Resolved, That this Convention will observe 
in their proceedings the sinnding rules of the 
House of Delegates, so far as they may be ap- 
plicable. 

A letter from the Rev. David Griflfith, D. D.. 
addressed to the President of the Convention, 
and relinquishing the appointment of bishop 
elect of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this 
slate ; also, a letter from the Rev. Mr. Emmer- 
son, addressed to the president, and containing 
a report of the state of the Protestant Episco- 
pal Church in the district of which he is the 
visiter, were read, and ordered to lie on the 
table. 

Mr. Andrews, of the standing committee, re- 
ported sundry proceedings of the said commit- 
tee, accompanied with letters and papers, which 



were read and ordered to be refeired to a com- 
mittee of the whole Convention on the state of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church within this 
Commonwealth. 

On motion, Resolved, That the Convention 
adjourn until noon. 

Thursday, May 7, at 12 o'clock. — The Con- 
vention having met, according to adjournment, 
the Rev. Mr. J. Cameron, from the committee 
appointed to examine and report the certificates 
of appointment of the sitting members, re- 
ported, That the committee had, according to or- 
der, examined the same, and had come to a res- 
olution thereon, which was read, and agreed to 
by the Convention, as followeth ; — 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this com- 
mittee, that the certificates of appointment from 
the parishes of King William, Southam, Hen- 
rico, Manchester, St. James Northam, St. Paul, 
St. Martin, Westover, Christ Church, in Middle- 
sex county, St. Margaret, Bristol, Wicomico, 
Christ Church, in Lancaster county, Littleton, 
St. Peter, Elizabeth City, Bruton, Berkeley, 
and Southwark, are satisfactory. 

The Rev. J. Cameron farther reported from 
the said committee, That they had found in the 
return from the parish of St. George, Spotsyl- 
vania county, the Rev. Mr. Thomas Thornton, 
Mr. John Legg, and Mr. Francis Thornton, jun., 
or any two of them, a[)pointed deputies to this 
Convention : And also that from the parish of 
Elizabeth river and county of Norfolk there 
were two returns ; viz., one appointing the Rev. 
Mr. Whitehead and Mr. John Boush, which 



CONVENTION OF 1789. 



27 



was certified by William Ingram, church-war- 
den ; the other appointing Mr. John Calvert, as 
a layman, which was certified by John Seymour, 
clerk of the vestry. 

On motion, Ordered, That the report, so far 
as it relates to the return from the parish of 
St. George, Spotsylvania county, be recommit- 
ted : And that the clause relatmg to the returns 
from Elizabeth river parish, Norfolk, county, 
be referred to a committee of the whole Con- 
vention. 

Mr. Abraham Archer having produced satis- 
factory evidence of his appointment to repre- 
sent the parish of York- Hampton as a lay dep- 
uty in this Convention, was admitted to his 
seat. 

The Convention resolved itself into a com- 
mittee of the whole Convention, to take into 
consideration the returns from the parish of Eliz- 
abeth river, Norfolk county ; and after some 
time spent therein, Mr. President resumed the 
chair, and Mr. E. Carrington reported. That the 
committee had, according to order, taken the 
said returns under their consideration, and had 
come to several resolutions thereon, which were 
read, amended, and agreed to, as followeth : — 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this com- 
mittee that all appointments of trustees of par- 
ish property prior to the ordinance of the last 
Convention for the appointment of vestries and 
trustees, where subsequent appointments have 
taken place agreeably to the regulations and di- 
rections of the said ordinance, are null and void. 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this com- 
mittee that Paul Loyall, Thomas Matthews, 
Paul Proby, William Ingram, Alexander Mose- 
ly, George Kelly, John Boush, Matthew God- 
frey, Robert Taylor, Robert Boush, Thomas 
Newton, jun., and Edward Archer, are duly 
elected vestrymen and trustees of the Protest- 
ant Episcopal Church for the parish of Eliza- 
beth river, Norfolk county, agreeably to an or- 
dinance regulating the appointment of vestries 
and trustees, and for other purposes. 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this com- 
mittee that the Rev. Alexander Whitehead and 
Mr. John Boush are legal deputies to represent 
the parish of Elizabeth river, Norfolk county, 
in this Convention. 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this com- 
mittee that Mr. John Calvert is not legally ap- 
pointed a deputy to represent the parish of Eliz- 
abeth river, Norfolk county, in^ this Conven- 
tion. 

Ordered, That the treasurer be requested to 
lay his accounts before the Convention to-mor- 
row. 

And then the Convention adjourned until to- 
morrow morning, 10 o'clock. 

Friday, May 8. 

Mr. Josiah Ellis, lay deputy from Lexington 
parish, Amherst county, and Henry Stokes, lay 
deputy from the parish of Cumberland, Lunen- 
burg county, produced their certificates of ap- 
pointment, and were admitted to their seats. 

The treasurer, according to order, laid his 
accounts before the Conventioa 



Ordered, That they be referred to a commit- 
tee : And a committee was appointed of the Rev. 
Mr. J. Cameron, Mr. Underwood, Rev. Mr. 
Tally, and Mr. Boush. 

1 he Rev. Mr. Cameron, from the committee 
to whom the return from the parish of St. 
George, Spotsylvania county, was re-commit- 
ted, reported. That the committee had, according 
to order, had the same under their consideration, 
and had come to a resolution thereon, which 
was read and agreed to, as followeth : — 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this com- 
mittee, that as Mr. John Legg, one of the lay 
deputies mentioned in the said return, has vol- 
untarily withdrawn himself, the return should be 
amended by striking out his name. 

On the motion of Mr. Andrews, 

Ordered, That leave he given to bring in an or- 
dinance to amend the ordinance for regulating 
the appointment of vestries and trustee.s, Hnd for 
other purposes : And Mr. Andrews, Mr. Cary, 
Mr. Buchanan, and Mr. Whitehead, were ap- 
pointed a committee to prepare the same. 

On motion. Resolved, That the present mem- 
bers of the standing committee be continued 
and remain in office until the end of the next 
session of Convention, and that Edmund Ran- 
dolph, of the city of Williamsburg, be added 
thereto. 

The Convention adjourned until 1 o'clock 
P. M. 

Fridav, May 8, 1 o'clock P. M.— The Con- 
vention having met, according to adjournment, 
the Rev. Mr. Cameron, from the committee ap- 
pointed to examine the treasurer's accounts, 
reported That they had, according to order, ex- 
amined the same, had found them fairly stated, 
and that there was in his hands the sum of 
107/. 8s. ; of which the sum of 28/. 17*. \0^d. 
was paid him to enable the bishop to obtain con- 
secration, and that the balance, being 78/. IOa'. 
H(Z , is for the general support o( the church. 

Mr. Andrews, from the committee appointed 
to prepare an ordinance to amend the ordinance 
for regulating the appointiinnt of vestries and 
trustees, and for other piirpox-s, reported. That 
the committee had, according to order, prepared 
the same. The ordinance was received, read 
three times, and passed, as followeth : — 

An Ordinance to amend an Ordinance, entitled 
" An Ordinance for regulating the appoint- 
ment of Vestries and Trustees, and far other 
purposes. ^^ 

Be it ordained by the clergy and lay deputies 
of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in Conven- 
vention, that in case of the neglect or refusal 
of any minister of a parish to call a meeting of 
the vestry, when required to do so by two or 
more vestrymen, the church-wardens, or church- 
warden, if but one within the parish, or any two 
vestrymen, if there be no church- warden, may 
call a meeting. 

Resolved, That Mr. Thomas Griflin Peachy 
be appointed a member of the third district in 
the room of Mr. John Banister, deceased. 

Resolved, That the deputies appointed to at- 
tend the next General Convention of the Prot- 



28 



CONVENTION OF 1789. 



estant Episcopal Church, be desired to notify 
to the General Convention that the Rev. Dr. 
Griffin, biahop elect of the said church in this 
state, has relinquished the said appointment, 
and that no person has been elected in his 
room. 

Resolved, That 150 copies of the Journal of 
this Convention be printed under the inspection 
of the Rev. Mr. Buchanan, and that the ordi- 
nance for regulating the ajjpointment of vestries 
and trustees, and foi other purposes, and the 
canons passed by the last Convention, be an- 
nexed. 

Resolved, That the standing committee be re- 
quested to frame an address to the members of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church, to hasten and 
forward the necessary contributions from their 
respective parishes, for defraying the expenses 
of the consecration of a bishop for the said 
church in this state, and that the same be 
printed at the end of the journal of this Con- 
vention. 

Resolved, That the Rev. Mr. John Cameron 
be appointed visiter of the 7th district in the 
room of the Rev. Mr. Burgess, who has re- 
moved out of the said district. 

Resolved, That the Rev. Mr. Boggs be ap- 
pointed a member of the committee of the 2d 
or middle district of recommendation, in the 
room of the Rev. Mr. Taylor, who has removed 
out of the said district. 

Resolved, That the next Convention be open- 
ed with a sermon, and that the Rev. Mr. John 
Cameron be requested to preach the same. 

Resolved, That the next Convention be called 
to meet in the city of Richmond. 

The Convention then adjourned. 

John Bracken, President, 
Robert Andrews, Secretary. 

Address of the Standing Committee to the mem- 
bers of the Protestant Episcopal Church. 

Brethren, — Convinced that the God whom we 
worship hath furnished us, if we be not wanting 
to ourselves, with ample means for the preser- 
vation of that church of which we profess to 
be members ; satisfied also that it claims a foun- 
dation the most truly apostolic, and that the 
proper support of it involves our dearest inter- 
ests, both temporal and eternal ; it is with the 
sincerest regret that we contemplate the situa- 
tion to which it is now reduced. We trust that 
you have also viewed with sorrow a situation so 
humiliating to a Christian society ; and we ar- 
dently hope that, not unmindful of the blessings 
which the bountiful hand of Providence hath so 
liberally bestowed onus, in common with other 
Christian societies, you now feel yourselves con- 
scientiously bound to improve, with gratitude 



and industry, those means which may tend to 
promote the prosperity of our church, and thus 
render the most pure and rational mode of wor- 
ship and instruction as extensively beneficial as 
possible. Under these impressions, brethren, 
we once more call your attention to the duty 
of completing the organization of our church. 
The superintendence and government of the 
episcopal office are indispensably necessary. 
Without them our religious concerns, important 
as they are in the eyes of every serious mem- 
ber — we may add of every worthy citizen, must 
rapidly decline. But the attainment of those 
benefits which result from the episcopal office, 
requires exertions of a pecuniary nature beyond 
the abilities of a few individuals. It is not just 
nor consistent with the principles of our reli- 
gious union, that the generous alone should feel 
those burdens which belong to the whole of the 
society, and which, if properly distributed, may 
be borne with ease. We therefore earnestly 
recommend to all the friends of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church, that they do cheerfully assist 
in raising the sum necessary for defraying the 
expenses attendant on the consecration of a 
bishop. Arguments the most pressing might 
be urged, were they deemed necessary, to in- 
duce a ready compliance with this recommenda- 
tion. But we hope, that as you regard the in- 
terests of religion, and of that church in partic- 
ular of which you ere members ; as you esti- 
mate the advantages which civil society must re- 
ceive from a mode of worship conducted on 
principles the most rational ; as you venerate 
those instructions which so nearly concern your 
temporal and eternal happiness ; and as you 
would with a parental tenderness cherish the 
best means of improving the morals of the ri- 
sing generation, no one will, on this occasion, 
refrain from casting his mite into the common 
treasury. Let it, we exhort you, brethren, be 
no longer said that we, of all Christian societies, 
are alone inattentive to our religious concerns. 
It is time to awake from an inattention which, 
if continued, must prove fatal to the Protestant 
Episcopal Church. 

We do not think it necessary to point out the 
particular mode in which the contributions may 
be collected ; but suggest it to the consideration 
of the several ministers how far this end may 
be facilitated by their preaching occasional ser- 
mons at their respective churches, and in those 
of such vacant parishes as may be convenient. 

That the divine wisdom may influence and di- 
rect your exertions, at this important crisis of 
our church, is the fervent prayer of your affec- 
tionate brethren in Christ. 

*»* Note that the cotitributions are to be for- 
warded to the Rev. Mr. Buchanan, of the city 
of Richmond. 



CONVENTION OF 1790. 



29 



Journal of a Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of Virginia, held in the 
Capitol in the City of Richmond, from May blh to May 8lh, 1790. 

A Listof the Members of the Convention. 



Counties. 
Accomack, 
Amelia, 
Amherst, 
Amherst, 
Albemarle, 
Charles City, 
Chesterfield, 
Chesterfield, 
Cumberland, 
Caroline, 
Dinwiddie, 
Elizabeth City, 
Frederick, 
Goochland, 
Halifax, 
Hanover, 
Henrico, 
Hanover, 
James City, 
James City, 
King and Queen, 
King William, 
Lancaster, 
Lunenburg, 
Norfolk, 
Northampton, 
Northumberland, 
Northumberland, 
Nottoway, 
Orange, 
Prince George, 
Princess Anne, 
Powhatan, 
Prince George, 
Suffolk, 
Surry, 

Spotsylvania, 
Southampton, 
York, 



Parishes. 
St. George, 
Rawleigh, 
Amherst, 
Lexington, 
Fredericksville, 
We stover, 
Dale, 

Manchester, 
Lyttleton, 
St. Margaret, 
Bath, 

Elizabeth City, 
Frederick, 
St. J. Northam, 
Antrim, 
St. Martin, 
Henrico, 
St. Paul, 
Bruton, 
James City, 
St. Stephen, 
St. David, 
Christ Church, 
Cumberland, 
Elizabeth River, 
Hungars, 
St. Stephen, 
Wicomico, 
Nottoway, 
St. Thomas, 
Bristol, 
Lynnhaven, 
King William, 
Mar. Brandon, 
Suffolk, 
Southwark, 
Berkeley, 
St. Luke, 
York Hampton, 



Clergymen. 
William Vere. 

Isaac Darneille. 
Charles Crawford. 

James Henderson. 
Needlet Robinson. 
William Cameron. 
Elkanah Talley. 

Devereaux Jarratt. 

Alexander Balmain. 
Charles Hopkins. 

Peter Nelson. 
John Buchanan. 

John Bracken. 
James Madison. 

Reuben Clopton. 
David Ball. 
James Craig. 
James Whitehead. 
S. S. M'Croskey. 
Thomas Davis. 



John Cameron. 
Anthony Walke. 

John J. Spooner. 
James Taylor. 
Samuel Butler. 
Hugh C. Boggs. 

Samuel Shield. 



Lay Deputies. 
John Royall. 



Francis Walker. 
Charles Carter. 

David Patterson. 
Mayo Carririgton. 
Anthony New. 

George Wray. 

James Wood. 

Archibald Brice. 

J. Coleman, E. Ragland. 

WiUiam Fontaine. 

William Foushee. 

T. White, W. Norvell. 

Robert Andrews. 

John Ambler. 

Thomas Hill. 

Nathaniel Burwell. 

James Ball. 

Edward Ragsdale. 

William White. 

Isaac Avery. 

Isaac Besye. 
W. and F. Fitzgerald. 
T. Barber and J. Daniel. 
James Campbell. 

John and Thomas Harris. 
Edward Bland. 
Michael King. 



John Rogers. 



Wednesday, May 5th, 1790. 

A SUFFICIENT number of clergymen and lay 
deputies to form a Convention having met, ac- 
cording to appointment, 

The Rev. James Madison, D. D., was unani- 
mously elected President. 

The Rev. Thomas Davis was unanimously ap- 
pointed Secretary. 

Ordered, That a committee be appointed to 
examine and report to the Convention the cer- 
tificates of appointment of the sitting members, 
and a commiilee was appointed of the Rev. 
John Bracken, the Rev. John Cameron, Hon. 
James Wood, and Mr. Walker. 

Resolved, That this Convention will observe 
in their proceedings the standing rules of the 
House of Delegates, as far as they may be ap- 
plicable. 

The Rev. Mr. Bracken reported a journal of 
the General Convention held in the city of Phil- 
adelphia, from July 28th to the 8th of August, 



and continued by adjournment from Sept. 30th 
to the 10th of October, 1789, which was read 
and ordered to lie on the table. 

The Convention then adjourned till 2 o'clock. 



The Convention having met, according to ad- 
journment, 

The Rev. John Bracken, from the committee 
appointed to examine the certificates of appoint- 
ment of the sitting members, reported, That the 
committee had, according to order, examined the 
same, and found the certificates from the fol- 
lowing parishes to be made agreeably to the 
canons, viz., St. George, &c. ;* they also found 
a double return from Elizabeth river parish, ap- 
pointing different deputies, and each return 
signed by different persons, slyUng themselves 
church-wardens. 

Ordered, That so much of the aforesaid re- 



* As in the list prefixed to this journal, except- 
ing Elizabeth river parish. 



30 



CONVENTION OF 1790. 



port as relates to the double return from Eliza- 
beth river parish be recommitted to the smiie 
com.nittee, au(i that the Rev. S. S. M'Croskey, 
the Rev. Anthony Walke, the rlev. Tnomas 
Davis, Mr. VVray, Mr. Avery, and Mr. Barber, 
be added thereto. 

The Convention adjournrid till to-morrow, 9 
o'clock. 

Thursday, May 6. 
The Convention liaving met, the Rev. J. 
Bracken read prayers, and a sermon was deliv- 
ered by the Rev. John Cameron. 

Ordered, On motion of Mr. Avery, that the 
thanks of this Convention be presented to the 
Rev. J. Cameron, for his judicious, affectionate, 
and seasonable discourse delivered, and that he 
be requested to prepare a copy for the press. 

The Rev. J Bracken, from the committee ap- 
pointed to examine the double return of certifi- 
cates from Ehzabeth river parish, reported. That 
they had, according to order, examined and consid- 
ered the business to ihein referred, and had come 
to some resolutions thereon, which were read, 
and, when amended, agreed to, as follows : — 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Con- 
vention, that the Rev. Mr. Wm. Whitehead 
and Mr. W. White are legal deputies to repre- 
sent the parish of Elizabeth river, Norfolk 
county, in this Convention. 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Con- 
vention, that the Rev. William Bland is not 
legally appomted a lay deputy for Elizabeth river 
parish in this Convention. 

A journal of the proceedings of the standing 
committee, with some other papers respecting 
the rights of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 
were presented by Mr. Andrews, and read. 

Ordered, That they be referred to a commit- 
tee of the whole Convention on the state of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church. 

Resolved, That this Convention will to-mor- 
row resolve itself into a committee of the whole 
Convention on the state of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church. 

On motion, Resolved, That this Convention 
will to-morrow proceed to the nomination of a 
bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 
Virginia. 

On motion. Resolved, That a committee be 
appointed to amend the canons which respect 
the trial of ofVending clergymen. 

And a committee was appointed of the Rev. 
S. Shield, the Rev. J. (y.imeron, the Rev. S. S. 
M'Croskey, the Rev. Mr. Jarratt, ihe Rev. Mr. 
Craig, Messrs. R. Andrews, M. Carringlon, A. 
New, Ja. Avery, and J. Campbell. 

On motion, Ordered. Th^it leave be given to 
bring in an ordinance to amend the ordmance 
for the appointment of vestrymen and trustees, 
and for other purposes, and that the committee 
appointed to revise and amend cerLiin canons 
do prepare and bring in the same. 

The Convention adjourned till to-morrow 
morning, 9 o'clock. 

Friday, May 7. 
The Convention, according to the order of the 
day, proceeded by ballot to the noimnalion of a 



bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 
this state ; and the Rev. Mr. Craig, the Rev. 
Mr. Cameron, Mr. New, ana Mr. Andrews, were 
appointed a committee to examine the ba.lois : 
who, havino- withdrawn and examined the same, 
reported, That they found the numbers for the 
persons balloted for to be as followelh : — 

For the Rev. James Madison, 46 ; Rev. 
Samuel Shield, 9. 

And it appearing from the report that a ma- 
jority of the whole Convention was in favour of 
the Rev. James Madison, 

Resolved, therefore. That the Rev. James 
Madison, D. D., be recommended as a proper 
person to be consecrated bishop of the Protest- 
ant Episcopal Church in the State of Virginia. 
Ordered, That the Rev. Alexander Balmain 
be appointed visiter for District No. 12, including 
the counties of Frederick, Berkeley, Hampshire, 
and Hardv. 

That the Rev. Thomas Davis be appointed 
visiter for District No. 6, including the counties 
of Lancaster, Northumberland, Richmond, and 
Westmoreland. 

That the Rev. Elkanah Talley be appointed 
visiter for District No. I, in the room of the 
Rev. J. H. Saunders, who is discontinued. 

That the Rev. Abner Waugh be appointed 
visiter of District No. 15, including the coun- 
ties of HSfftver and Caroline, in the room of 
the Rev. Mr. Dick, who hath resigned. 

That the Rev. Jesse Carter be appointed 
visiter of District No. 16, including the counties 
of Essex, King W'illiam, and King and Queen, 
in the room of the Rev. H. Skyring, who hath 
removed out of that district. 

On motion, Resolved, That the members of 
this Convention do advance for their respective 
parishes two dollars, to be applied to the general 
purposes of the Convention. 

Resolved, That a committee be appointed to 
examine the treasurer's accounts, and make 
report thereof ; and a committee was appointed 
of Mr. R. Andrews, Mr. Walker, the Rev. J. 
Cameron, and the Rev. Mr. Walke. 

Resolved, on the motion of the Rev. J. Cam- 
eron, That this Convention do recommend it to 
the bishop, to whom Mr. Stephen Johnson, a 
candidate for holy orders, shall apply for ordina- 
tion, to dispense with, in the examination of the 
said Johnson, that knowledge of the Greek and 
Latin languages which is required by the sev- 
enth general canon of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church m the United Stales of .America. 

Ordered, That the Rev. Devereaux Jarratt 
have leave of absence for the remainder of ihis 
Convention. 

The Convention, according to the order of 
the day, resolved itself into a committee of the 
whole Convention on the state of the Protest- 
ant Eprscopal Church ; and, after some time 
spent therein, Mr. President resumed the chair, 
and the Rev. S. Sh eld reported. That the said 
committee had, according to order, taken under 
consideration the business to them referred, and 
had come to several resolutions thereon, which 
were read and agreed to as follows: — 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this Con- 



CONVENTION OF 1790. 



31 



venfion, that the Protestant Episcopal Church 
is the cxchisive owner of the jjlebes, churches, 
and other property held by the Church ol Eng- 
land in Virginia, at the commencement ol" the 
revolution. 

Resolved, That the principles upon which the 
said property is held, are those only by which 
the rights of property are regulated 

Resolved, That the interference of the legis- 
lature in the sale of that property, or in the dis- 
posal of it to any other purpose than that for 
which it is now held, would be a violation of 
the constitution. 

Resolved, That the several documents now 
referred to the Convention be referred to the 
standing committee : And thatthey be instructed 
to adopt such measures, and to make such pub- 
lications or representations, as to them shall 
seem advisable on the premises. 

The Convention adjourned until 9 o'clock to- 
morrow morning. 

Sat0Rday, May 8. 

The Convention having met, the Rev. S. 
Shield, from the committee appointed to bring in 
an ordinance to amend the ordinance for the 
appointment of vestries and trustees, and for 
other purposes, reported. That they had, ac- 
cording to order, prepared the same, which was 
read, and ordered to be read a second time. 

The Rev. Mr. Shield, from the same committee, 
reported. That they had, according to order, had 
the canons respecting the trial of offending 
clergymen under consideration, and had prepared 
some new canons relative thereto, which were 
read, and ordered to be read a second lime. 

Mr. Andrews, from the committee appointed 
to e.xamine the treasurer's account, reported, 
That the committee had, according to order, e.\- 
amined the same, and found them justly and 
fairly stated, and that the balance in his hands 
for general purposes is 30/. 17s. 6rf. That the 
committee, however, thought it their duly to 
observe, that the treasurer had advanced to the 
deputies who went to the last General Conven- 
tion 15/. 2s. li(i. more than was directed by the 
resolution of the last Convention : That they 
had farther found that the said deputies have 
still a claim on account of their expenses for 
the following balances, viz. : — 

The Rev. John Bracken, for a balance of 7/. 
8s. ; Mr. Robert Andrews, for a balance of 71. 
9s. \Oid. 

That the committee had also found in the 
hands of the treasurer a balance of 126/. lis. 
lOirf. due to the bishop's fund : Whereupon the 
Convention came to a resolution that the treas- 
urer's account do pass ; and that he pay to the 
Rev. Mr. Bracken and Mr. Andrews the bal- 
ances reported to be due to them. 

It appearing that the Rev. Mr. Buchanan had 
dechncd receiving any compensation for his ser- 
vices as treasurer of the Convention for the last 
year, 

On motion. Resolved, That the thanks of this 
Convention be given to the Rev. Mr. Buchanan 
for his faithful and disinterested discharge of the 
duties of the office of treasurer. 



On motion of Mr. "Walker, Resolved, That the 
thanks of this Convention be given to tlie Rev. 
Dr. James Madison, for his Vdluable f.'^say read 
before the Convention, containing a defence 
of certain rights of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church. 

On motion of the Rev. John Bracken, Or- 
dered, That the treasurer of this Convention ad- 
vance to the Rev. Dr. James Madison such a 
sum of money as may be directed by the stand- 
ing committee, for the purpose of defraying his 
expenses in obtaining consecration, provided 
such sum does not exceed 200/. ; and that it he 
advanced out of the money in the bishop's 
fund. 

On motion. Resolved, That deputies be ap- 
pointed to attend any General Convention of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church which may be 
called before the month of May, 1791 : And 
the Rev. John Bracken and Mr. Robert An- 
drews were accordingly appointed. 

On motion of Mr. Campbell, Resolved, That 
the deputies to the next General Convention be 
instructed to endeavour to procure the following 
amendment to the 7th general canon, viz., after 
"required," in the 5th line, to insert, "and can 
also satisfy the bishop that he hath a competent 
knowledge of moral philosophy, church history, 
and the belles lettres, and hath paid particular 
attention to acquire rhetoric and pulpit elo- 
quence, as the means of giving additional effi- 
cacy to his labours." 

On motion. Resolved, That the parish trus- 
tees be desired to transmit to the Rev. Mr. 
Buchanan, of the city of Richmond, to be laid be- 
fore the next Convention, an account of the 
property of the church, both real and personal, 
within their respective parishes, with a slate of 
the condition and supposed value of their glebes. 

Resolved, That a register of the mmistetsof 
the Protestant Episcopal Church, who hold 
parishes within this slate, and also of assistant 
ministers, be kept by the Secretary of the Con- 
vention ; and that for this purpose, the vestries 
be desired to certiiy to the Rev. Mr. Buchanan 
the names of the ministers who hold their re- 
spective parishes, and of the assistant min- 
isters. 

On motion of Mr. Andrews, Resolved, That 
the trustees of the parish of Bruton have the 
consent of this Convention to sf II the glebe of 
the said parit^h, provided ii shall be the opiiuon 
of the trustees that it can be done with ad- 
vantage to the Protestant Episcopal Church. 

Ordered, That a standing committee be ap- 
pointed, to continue in office until the end of 
the next session of Convention, and that their 
powers be the same as those vested in the former 
standing committees. A standing coaiinittee 
was accordingly appointed, ol the Rev. James 
Madison, Rev. John Bracken, Rev. Samuel 
Shield, Hon. John Blair, Robert Andrews, Esq., 
Hon. Edmund Randolph, Hon. Joseph Prentis, 
and Rev. Henry Skyring. 

Resolved, That the said committee be re- 
quested to frame standing rules for regulating 
the proceedings of Conventions, and to report 
the same to the next Convention. 



33 



CONVENTION OF 1790. 



Ordered, That 200 copies of the Journal of 
this Convention be printed, under the inspection 
of the Rev. Mr. Buchanan ; and that the or- 
dinances and canons of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in this slate which shall be in force at 
the end of this session, together with the Gen- 
eral Constitution and canons framed by the late 
General Convention, be annexed to thejournal. 

An ordinance to amend an ordinance, entitled 
" An ordmance for regulating the appointment 
of vestries and trustees, and for other purposes," 
was read the second time, and ordered to be 
read a third time. 

Resolved, That it be recommended to the 
several parishes within this commonwealth, to 
send the sum of twelve dollars to the Rev. Mr. 
Buchanan, treasurer, on or before the first 
Tuesday of May ne.xt ; to be applied by the 
Convention to the general purposes of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church in this state. 

An ordinance to amend the ordinance for the 
appointment of vestries and trustees, and for 
other purposes, was read the third time. 

Resolved, That the ordinance do pass ; and 
that the title be, " An ordinance to amend farther 
the ordinance entitled An ordinance for regu- 
lating the afpointment of vestries and trustees, 
and for other purposes.''* 

The reported canons respecting the trial of of- 
fending clergymen, were read a second time. 

Resolved, That they be agreed to ; and that 
they be numbered as the 28th and 29th canons, t 

Resolved, That the former 28th, 30th, and 
32d canons be, and they are hereby, abrogated. 

Resolved, That the next Convention be 
opened with a sermon, and that the Rev. Thomas 
Davis be requested to preach the same. 

Resolved, That the next Convention be call- 
ed to meet on the first Tuesday in May, 1791, 
unless the standing committee shall think it ne- 
cessary to call a Convention at an earlier pe- 
riod : and that the next Convention meet in the 
city of Richmond. 

The Convention then adjourned. 

James Madison, President. 
Thomas Davis, Secretary. 

APPENDIX. 

An Ordinance for regulating the Appointment 
of Vestries aiid Trustees, and for other pur- 
poses. 

Whereas an act of the General Assembly, 
which was passed in the year one thousand seven 
hundred and eighty-four, entitled, " A.n act for 
incorporating the Protestant Episcopal Church," 
hath been repealed by an act of the last session ; 
in consequence of which it is supposed that the 
several powers of government and discipline in 
the said church are returned to the members 
at large ; and in order to exercise those pow- 
ers, the members of the said church, in their 
several parishes, have elected two deputies to 
represent them in a Convention to be held in the 
city of Richmond, on this sixteenth day of May, 

* See Appendix. 

t Bee 28th and 29th canena in the Appendix. 



one thousand seven hundred and eighty-seven, 
with full powers to deliberate upon, form, and 
establish such regulations as they should judge 
to be necessary and proper for the government, 
discipline, and worship of ihe said church, and 
the care and direction of the social property ; in 
order to effect which purposes, it is judged ne- 
cessary that vestries should forthwith be elect- 
ed in each parish. 

Be it therefore ordained by the deputies so 
appointed, and now met in Convention at the 
time and place prefixed, That the church-war- 
dens and vestrymen in the several parishes 
within this commonwealth, who were elected 
into oflUce in conformity to an act of the General 
Assembly, passed in the year one thousand seven 
hundred and eighty-four, entitled, " An act for 
incorporating the Protestant Episcopal Church," 
be, and are hereby declared and acknowledged 
as trustees for the members of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church vmtil a new election shall take 
place, and to hold the property, both real and per- 
sonal, belonging to the said church, for their use 
and benefit, subject to such regulations as shall 
be made from time to time by the Convention 
of deputies elected by the members of the said 
church. And be it further ordained, that as 
soon as may be after notice of this ordinance, 
the late church-wardens, or any two other repu- 
table inhabitants (being members of the Protest- 
ant Episcopal Church) in each parish, do call 
together, at some convenient time and place, by 
notice duly given, all the freeholders and house- 
keepers in such parish who are members of the 
said church, and contribute to the support 
thereof ; then and there to elect twelve of the 
most able and discreet men of their society to 
be a vestry forsucii parish, and trustees of their 
property ; to continue in office until the Mon- 
day in Easter-week, in the year one thousand 
seven hundred and ninety, and on that day, if 
fair, otherwise the next day which is so, there 
shall be a new election of vestrymen ; and such 
elections shall continue to be made triennially on 
Easter-Monday, if fair, or the next fair day, 
until the Convention shall otherwise direct ; in- 
termediate vacancies occasioned by death, re- 
moval, or resignation, to be filled by the remain- 
ing vestrymen, and those so chosen to act until 
the period of the next general election. 

Every vestryman, before he acts in office, 
shall subscribe in vestry to be conformable to 
the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church. 

Each vestry, at their first meeting after their 
election, shall choose two of their members to 
be church-wardens, who shall superintend the 
next general election of vestrymen ; judge of 
the qualifications of voters, and certify the 
names of the persons chosen. They shall be 
considered as the acting part of the vestry, and 
shall see that the orders and resolutions of the 
vestry be carried into execution. 

The vestries respectively, with the minister, 
where there is one, shall hold and enjoy all 
glebes, lands, churches, books, plate, an'l other 
property, now belonging or hereafter accruing ta 
the said church, as trustees for the benefit of the 



CONVENTION OF 1790. 



8t 



society, and may improve or demise the lands 
during the vacancy of a minister, but may not 
demise lands allowed lor llie nniuster's haliita- 
tion or use, wluii they have one, without his 
consent. They may also use, iiiii)rove, or dis- 
pose of all personal property, and the produce, 
rents, and profits of lands (not appropriated for 
the miiiisier) belonging to the church, for the 
benefit of the society, in erecting or repairing 
churches, glebe-houses, or otherwibc ; and may 
make such rules and orders for managing the 
temporal affairs and concerns of the church, 
within their respective parishes, as they shall 
think most conducive to its interest and pros- 
perity, and for carrying into execution such or- 
ders and rules for government and discipline, or 
other spiritual purposes, as shall be directed by 
this or any future Convention. They shall have 
the sole power of directing the payment of 
money belonging to the church within their re- 
spective parishes, and of appointing a clerk, 
treasurer, and collector, when they think neces- 
sary. All of which proceedings shall be fairly 
entered in a book to be kept for that purpose. 

A meeting of the body (to be called by the 
minister, or if he be absent, or in case of a va- 
cancy, by the church-wardens, or by a church- 
warden, if but one within the parish, or by any 
two vestrymen, if there be no minister or church- 
warden) shall be had as often as is necessary, 
the minister to have a vote equal to, and not 
greater than a vestryman, in all questions ex- 
cept for the demise of the glebe-lands assigned 
for his residence or use, in which he shall have 
a negative. Seven members shall be sufTicient 
to constitute a meeting, and all questions shall 
be decided by a majority of those present. 

Future Conventions shall consist of two depu- 
ties from each parish, of whom the minister 
shall be one, if there be a minister, the other a 
layman, to be annually chosen by the vestry, 
who shall also choose another where there is no 
minister in the parish : And twenty-five depu- 
ties thus qualified and appointed shall be a Con- 
vention. 

Conventions shall regulate all the religious 
concerns of the church, its doctrines, disci|)line, 
and worship, and institute such rules and regu- 
lations as they may judge necessary for the good 
government thereof, and the same revoke and 
alter at their pleasure. 

An Ordinance to amend the foregoing Ordi- 
nance. 

Be it ordained by the clergy and lay depu- 
ties of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in 
Convention, that in case of neglect or refusal of 
any minister of a parish to call a meeting of the 
vestry, when required to do so by two or more 
vestrymen, the church-wardens, or church- 
warden, if but one within the parish, or any two 
vestrymen, if there be no church-warden, may 
call a meeting. 

An Ordinance to amend further the Original 
Ordinance. 
Be it ordained by the clergy and lay defiu- 
ties of the Protestant Episcopal Church, m Con- 





venlion, that in any parishes which have neglect- 
ed to elect vestries and trustees agreeably to 
the "Ordinance for regulating the appointment 
of vestries and trustees, and for other purpos- 
es," or wliich shall hereafter neglect to make 
such election, the members of tiie Protestant 
Episcopal Church within such parishes may at 
any time afterward within six months elect 
vestries ?.nd trustees, in the manner directed by 
the aforesaid ordinance. And in all cases 
where tdections have not been held, or shall not 
be held, at the periods fixed by the said ordi- 
nance for general elections, the former vestries 
and trustees shall continue to act until elections 
shall be held as hereby directed ; or, if no elec- 
tions shall be held, until a future Convention 
shall take some farther order in the matter. 
Provided nevertheless. That where any parish 
which had failed to elect vestrymen and trus- 
tees at the time appointed by the said ordinance 
for a general election, hath since elected the 
same, such election is hereby declared to be 
valid. 

II any person elected a vestryman and trus- 
tee shall neglect or refuse to attend two suc- 
cessive meetings of the body, having had due 
notice thereof, he mav be considered as having 
vacated his office ; and the remaining vestrymen 
and trustees may elect into his place some other 
able and discreet man of their society. 

In case of the nonattendance of the church- 
wardens at an election of vestrymen and trus- 
tees in any parish, the minister, or, if he be 
absent, or, if there be no minister in the parish, 
any two vestrymen, or, if there be no vestrymen 
present, any two reputable inhabitants of the 
parish who are members of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church, may be appointed to superintend 
the election. 

No sale of such property as is of the nature 
of principal or stofk, belonging to the Protest- 
ant Episcopal Church in any parish, shall be 
made without the consent of a Convention. 

Any ordinance or part of an ordinance which 
is contrary to this ordinance, is hereby declared 
null and of no effect, 



CANONS. 

I. Conventions shall be holden annually on 
the first \^'ednesday in May, provided neverthe- 
less, that if a sufficient number of members to 
form a Convention shall not attend on the said 
day, any five then assembled shall have power 
to adjourn. 

II. A person shall preside in Convention with 
the name of president, who shall aKvays be a 
bishop, when there is one present properly con- 
secrated and settled in the church, till which 
lime a president shall be appointed by the Con- 
vention out of their own body ; if more than 
one bishop is found necessary in this church, 
they shall preside alternately. 

III. A secretary shall he a])poinled by the 
Convention, who shall continue in office during 
good behaviour, who shall keep a record of 
their resolves and proceedings, and have Iho 



84 



CONVENTION OF 1790. 



records in his custody so king as he shall con^ 
tinuc in office. 

IV. Standing rules shall be established for 
the preservation of decorum, and the orderly 
management of business. 

V. All questions, whether they relate to the 
order, government, discipline, doctrine, or wor- 
ship of this church, or to any other matter which 
is properly before the Convention, shall be de- 
termined by a majority of votes. 

VI. At all future Conventions, each member 
(whether mmister or layman) shall, previous to 
his admission, produce a tesimionial of his being 
regularly appointed, which testimonial shall be 
signed by one or boih of the church-wardens, or 
by the clerk of the respective vestries. 

VII. All the ordinances and other proceed- 
ings of the Convention shall be attested by the 
secretary. 

Vllr. The clergy of several neighbouring 
parishes, not less than three nor more than ten, 
shall assemble in presbytery annually on the 
second Wednesday in April, at some convenient 
place in the district, to be appointed by a major- 
ity of the ministers in the same district ; one in 
each district shall be appointed by the Conven- 
tion to preside at their meetings with the title 
of visiter, who shall annually visit each parish in 
his district — shall attend to and inspect the 
morals and conduct of the clergy — shall see that 
the canons and rules of the church are observ- 
ed, and that no abuses are practised — shall ad- 
monish and reprove privately those clergymen 
who are negligent, or act in an unbecoming 
manner, and shall report yearly to the bishop, if 
there be one, or, if there be no bishop, to the next 
Convention, the state of each parish in his dis- 
trict, noting down the offenders and their offences. 

JX. The clergy who shall minister in this 
church shall be the three orders of bishops, 
priests, and deacons. 

X. Every person hereafter to officiate in this 
church as a bishop, shall be nominated by the 
Convention ; and having received episcopal con- 
secration before he enters on his office, shall 
subscribe to conform to the doctrine, discipline, 
and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
of Virginia ; and no person shall be received into 
the church as a bishop until he shall have com- 
pleted the thirtieth year of his age. 

XI. As we conceive the office of a bishop, 
according to the true apostolic institution, dif- 
fers in nothing from that of other ministers of 
God's word, except in the power of ordination 
and confirmation, and the rights of superintend- 
jjng the conduct of the clergy, and of precedency 
in ecclesiastical assemblies, that office shall be 
accordingly so exercised in this church ; and 
every bishop, after his promotion to the episco- 
pal order, shall continue Lo hold a parish and to 
do the duty of a parish minister, excejit when 
he is necessarily employed in the discharge of 
his episcopal office. 

XII. No bishop shall inflict any censure 
upon, or exercise any power over, the clergy 
under his inspection, other than he is allowed lo 
do by the laws and inbtitulioas of this church 
made in Ctrnvention. 



XIII. No priest or minister shall hereafter 
be received into any parish within this common- 
wealth, unless he first produce to the vestry suf- 
ficient testimonials of his having been regularly 
ordained a priest by some Protestant bishop, and 
of having taken the oath of allegiance to this 
commonwealth, and subscribe to be conformable 
to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church; nor till he shall 
have entered into a contract in writing with the 
vestry or trustees on behalf of the society v/ithin 
such parish, by which it shall be stipulated and 
declared that he holds the appointment subject 
to removal upon the determinations of the Con- 
vention of tlie Protestant Episcopal Church in 
this state. Provided, That any person who hath 
been ordained by a bishop of the Church of Rome 
may also he received as a minister, who shall 
produce satisfactory testimonials respecting his 
ordination, morals, and conduct, renounce the 
errors of that church, take the oath, and sub- 
scribe as aforesaid. 

XIV. No minister shall hereafter be received 
into a parish who does not first produce to the 
vestry satisfactory testimonials of his morals, 
conduct, and conversation, from the person or 
persons appointed by the Convention to inquire 
into such matters, and grant such testimonials. 

XV. The right of presentation or appointing' 
ministers to serve in the parishes shall continue 
in the vestries, and each vestry shall choose its 
own minister. 

XVI. Every person to be ordained priest or 
deacon by any bishop of this church, shall pro- 
duce testimonials of his good morals and orderly 
conduct from the clergy assembled in the dis- 
trict where he for some time last resided, and 
from the veslry of the parish where he last 
lived, provided there be in the district a suffi- 
cient number of clergymen to form a presby- 
tery ; otherwise a testimonial from the minister 
and vestry of his parish, or from the vestry 
alone, if the parish is vacant, shall be deemed 
sufficient : Provided also, the candidate is not 
an inhabitant of some other state, and intended 
to minister in some parish or congregation in a 
neighbouring state. No person shall be or^ 
dained until due examination had by the bishop 
and two priests. 

XVII. No person shall be admitted to priest's 
orders until he shall have completed the twenty- 
fourth year of his age, and is assured of the 
willingness of some parish or congregation to re- 
ceive him as their minister, to be certified under 
the hands of the church-wardens, and attested 
by the clerk of the vestry. 

XVIII. Every person who shall be admitted 
either to priest's or deacon's orders, shall be or- 
dained according to the form prescribed in tho 
Book of Common Prayer, &c. directed to be used 
in this church ; but no person shall be ordained 
priest until he has served six months in the of- 
fice of deacon. 

XIX. No person shall be ordained deacon 
until he shall have completed the twenty-first 
year of his age. 

XX. No person having deacon's orders only 
ehall be allowed to hold a parish ; bMt a deacon 



CONVENTION OF 1790. 



may, during a vacancy, officiate in a parish, if 
chosen by the vestry to do so ; he shall preach 
the gospel, and baptize ; he may assist in admin- 
istering the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, but 
not consecrate the elements ; he may sole/nnizc 
marriages, and shall attend to the situation and 
circumstances of the poor when it may be ne- 
cessary. 

XXI. A person may be ordained a deacon 
though he shall have no assurance of being 
called to minister in a parish or congregation, 
provided his testimonials and qualifications are 
satisfactory. 

XXII. A deacon may minister as a proba- 
tioner or missionary under the direction of the 
Convention or the bishop. 

XXIII. The parish clerk shall be appointed 
by the minister and vestry, and displaced by 
them whenever his services are not satisfactory 
to the people, whenever he shall neglect his 
duty, or otherwise misbehave himself 

XXIV. Se.xtons shall be appointed by the 
vestries, and dismissed by them when they think 
proper. 

XXV. Bishops shall be amenable to the Con- 
vention, who shall be a court to try them, from 
which there shall be no appeal ; on all such oc- 
casions a president, who shall be a bishop, shall 
be chosen by the Convention to sit as judge, 
and ihey shall also appoint a clerk to the court. 

XXVI. All accusations against a bishop, as 
such, shall come from the vestries ; but no ac- 
cusation against a bishop shall be received un- 
less three vestries join in the complaint. All 
complaints against a bishop shall be lodged 
with such persons as may be appointed to call a 
Convention ; and a copy of the charge or charges 
to be brought against hun shall be communicated 
to him in writing at least two months before the 
trial ; counsel may be employed on both sides, 
and none but viva voce evidence shall be ad- 
mitted. 

XXVII. Disorderly, scandalous, and immoral 
conduct, neglect of duty, a disregard to the 
rules and canons of the church, or taking a bribe 
to grant either ordination or a recommendation 
for a vacant parish, shall be considered as of- 
fences in a bishop, for which he maybe brought 
to trial ; and on his being convicted of any of 
these, he shall be reproved, suspended, or dis- 
missed, at the discretion of the court. 

XXVIII. Courts shall be instituted to e.\am- 
ine into complaints exhibited against ministers 
or deacons, which courts shall be composed of 
one clergyman and one vestryman from each 
parish of the district in v^'hich the accused min- 
ister resides, the parish excepted to which the 
minister belongs. The appointment of the ves- 
trymen shall be by lot ; and the visiter of the dis- 
trict, unless he shall be the accused person, 
shall preside as judge ; and in that case, the 
oldest clergyman in orders shall be the judge : 
Provided nevertheless, That where the number 
of settled clergymen in the district shall be less 
than two, the visiter shall call for a clergyman 
from a neighbouring district ; and, moreover, if, 
when the court assembles, tho number of vestry- 
men shall be fou;id to exceed the number of clei- 

C ? 



gymen present, so many vestrymen shall be 
withdrawn by lot as shall be necessary to 
equalize the number of tlio two orders. 

Anv number of membeis, not less than three, 
two of whom shall be clergymen, shall be suf- 
ficient to constituto a court. 

On conviction of a minister, the court shall 
proceed to pass sentence ; which shall be none 
other than reproof or suspension ; and in all 
cases where the olfence shall be thought to de- 
serve suspension, the court shall without delay 
report the facts and state the evidence to tha 
bishop, or, until a bishop shall be consecrated 
for the church in this state, to the chairman of 
the standing committee, who, with the standing 
committee, or three fourths of the same, shall 
be, and are hereby constituted and appointed, a 
court in the last resort to try the oflbncler ; and 
who, if they do not acquit him, shall cither con» 
firm the sentence of the examining court, or pass 
such other sentence as a majority of them shall 
think the offence deserves ; which shall be 
either reproof, dismission, or degradation. 

XXIX. Complaints against u minister shall 
be received from the vestry of the parish where 
the minister officiates, and from no other per- 
son or persons whatever. They shall be signed 
by a majority of a vestry, without which no 
complaint shall be received. They shall be 
directed to the visiter of the district in which 
the accused minister resides, or, where there is 
no visiter, or if the visiter be the person accused, 
to a member of the [iiresbytery in the said district, 
who shall forthwith appoint a convenient time 
and place for the trial ; and take care that the 
members who are to compose the court shalj 
have timely information thereof. 

In every complaint, the offence or offences 
shall be stated ; and the minister shall be fur- 
nished with a copy of the charges brought 
against him, and with notice of his intended 
trial, at least one month before the trial. Vivd 
voce evidence only shall be admitted, and that 
upon oath, or the evidence of authenticated 
records ; and counsel may be employed ou both 
sides. 

The visiter, or the person to whom the com- 
plaint shall he made, shall cite the accused per- 
son before the appointed court ; which shall (un- 
less the person accused is prevented from at- 
tending by sickness) proceed to the trial, exam- 
ine the testimony against the offender, and t^ke 
the depositions of the witnesses. 

XXX. No vestryman shall sit on the exam- 
ination of a minister belonging to the parish 
wherein such vestryman resides ; the examina- 
tion shall be held in the parish where the ac- 
cused minister olficiates, and at a place to be 
appointed by the vestry ; the judges shall appoint 
a clerk occasionally for such examinations. 

XXXI. Disorderly, scandalous, and immoral 
conduct, neglect of duty, a disregard to the 
rules and canons of the church, or taking a 
bribe tp recommend either foj- ordination or a 
parish, are to be considered as among the offen- 
ces for which a minister may be brought tg trial. 

XXXII. Deacons behaving in a scandalous, 
disorderly, or immoraj manner, or \yhQ neglect 



36 



CONVENTION OF 1791. 



the duty they have undertaken, shall, on full and 
satisfactory proof, be suspended or silenced by 
the bishop until the sense of the Convention 
shall be known. And the salary accruing during 
the suspension of a minister or deacon, who is 
afterward foand guilty, shall go to the vestry 
for the use of the church. 

XXXIII. Bishops shall visit the different 
parishes under their inspection once in three 
years at least ; of which visitation the clergy 
or church-wardens shall have timely notice ; in 
their visitation they shall confirm such as choose 
to receive confirmation, they shall inspect the 
state of the parishes, and the conduct of the 
clergy, who shall give them what information 
they can respecting such ecclesiastical matters 
as they may choose to be informed of. 

XXXIV. Bishops shall hold ordinations at 
such times and places as they may judge neces- 
sary and convenient. 

XXXV. Bishops, after every visitation, shall 
report the stale of the church in the different 
parishes to the Convention. 

XXXVI. No minister or bishop shall be al- 
lowed to hold more than one parish at the same 
time. Nevertheless, a minister may, if called 
thereto by the vestry, preach in a neighbouring 
parish or parishes durnig a vacancy in such par- 
ish or parishes, and may receive a compensation 
for his services, provided he has the conser.t of 
his own vestry, and shall not neglect the duties 
of his parish. 

XXXVII. Every minister shall reside within 
his parish, unless a majority of his vestry shall 
agree to dispense with his residence, and shall 



at no time leave it for more than one month 
without the consent of the said vestry. 

XXXVIII. Mmisters shall, at their churches 
and other convenient places, instruct children, 
and such ignorant persons as may require it, 
in their catechism, and the principles of the 
Christian religion as maintained by this church ; 
provided this duty may be dispensed with during 
the inclement winter months. They shall also 
e.\plain the nature of confirmation, and instruct 
and prepare their parishioners for it. 

XXXIX. Ministers and deacons shall wear 
a surplice during the time of prayer at public 
worship, in places where they are provided ; 
shall wear gowns when they preach, where they 
conveniently can ; and shall at all times wear 
apparel suited to the gravity of their profession. 

XL. Ministers and deacons may encourage 
people to assemble together in small societies 
at convenient times fur their edification, and 
may visit, superintend, and instruct such socie- 
ties at their meetings ; provided they shall not 
do it to the encouragement of idleness, oi to the 
injury of private families. 

XLI Ministers officiating in this church, 
whether bishops, priests, or deacons, shall preach 
once at least on every Lord's day, and at other 
stated seasons, unless prevented by some suffi- 
cient cause ; they may at their discretion preach 
also at other times, when opportunities shall 
offer of edifying the church ; bishops and priests 
shall administer the sacrament at least four 
times in the year at each church or place of 
worship in their respective parishes, and shall 
visit the sick when called on for that purpose. 



Journal of a Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of Virginia, held in the. 
Capitol in the City of Richmond, from May ^d to May 6th, 1791, inclusive. 



A List of the Members of the Convention. 



Parishes. 
Abingdon, 
Antrim, 
Baih, 
Berkeley, 
Bristol, 
Bruton, 
Charles, 
Christ Church, 
Cumberland, 
Dale, 
Drysdale, 
Elizabeth River, 
Fairfax, 
Henrico, 
Hungars, 
James City, 
King Wiliiam, 
Lexington, 
Littleton, 
Lynnhaven, 
Manchester, 
Meherrin, 

NottorwaVf 
"Raleigh, 



Clergymen. 
James Price. 
Alexander Hay. 
Devereaux Jarratt. 
Hugh C. Boggs. 
John Cameron. 
John Bracken. 
Samuel Shield 
David Ball. 
James Craig. 
Needier Robinson. 
Jesse Carter. 
James Whitehead. 

John Buchanan. 

James Madison (Bishop and Pres ). 

Charles Crawford. 
Elkanah Talley. 
Anthony Walke. 
William Cameron. 
Stephen Johnson. 



Lay Deputies. 
John Page. 
John Coleman 



Thos. G. Peachy. 
Robert Andrews. 
Starkey Robinson. 
James Ball. 
John Stevenson. 

William Lyne. 

Robert T. Hooe. 
William Foushee. 
John L. Fulwell. 
John Ambler. 
Thomas Harris. 

Mayo Carrington. 
Edward H. Moseley. 
David Patteson. 

Rowland Ward. 
; P. Robinson. 
John Royall. 



Parishes, 
St. Asaph, 
St. Bride, 
St. David, 
St. George (Acco.), 
St George, (S|iot.), 
St. James Nonhain, 
St. Margaret, 
St. Mark, 
St. Martin, 
St. Mary, 

St. Paul, 

Southam, 
Soulhwark, 
Suffolk, 
Trinity, 

Upper Parish ) 
(Nansemond), ) 
Westover, 



CONVENTION OF 1791. 
Clergymen. 

James Morris. 
Reuben Cloplon. 
"William \'ere. 
John Woodville. 
Charles Hopkins. 



87 



Lay Deputies. 
John Hoomes. 



Peter Nelson. 
Abner Waugh. 



Samuel Butler. 
James Tavlor. 



James Henderson. 



On Tuesday, the third of May, in the year of 
our Lord one thousand seven hundred and nine- 
ty-one, being the day appointed for the meeting 
of the Convention of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a 
sufficient number of members to proceed on bu- 
siness being present. 

Ordered, That Robert Andrews be appointed 
Secretary to the Convention. 

The Right Rev. James Madison, D. D., hav- 
ing laid before the Convention his letters of con- 
secration to the office of bishop of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church in this Commonwealth, 
took his seat as President of the Convention. 

Ordered, That a committee of elections be ap- 
pointed, to examine the returns of the sitting 
members, and to report thereon : And a com- 
mittee was appointed of Mr. New, Mr. Craig, 
Mr. Page, and Mr. Buchanan. 

Ordered, That a committee be appointed to 
examine the treasurer's accounts, and to report 
thereon : And a committee was appointed of 
Mr. New, Mr. Bracken, Mr. Hoomes, and Mr. 
Shield. 

On motion. Ordered, That a committee be 
appointed to revise the canons : And a com- 
mittee was appointed of Mr. Shield, Mr. Jar- 
ratt, Mr, Whitehead, Mr. Page, and Mr. E. 
Carrington. 

And then the Convention adjourned till to- 
morrow morning, 10 o'clock. 

Wednesd.w, May 4. 

The Right Rev. the President having, on his 
taking the chair this morning, delivered a charge 
to the Convention, 

Resolved, unanimously, That the thanks of 
this Convention be given to the Right Rev. Dr. 
Madison for the seasonable, judicious, and affec- 
tionate charge delivered them this day, and that 
he be requested to furnish a copy of the same 
for the purpose of having it published. 

An Address to the Convention of the Prnlcslanl 
Ejjiscopal Chiirchin Virginia, by the R'. Rr.v. 
J. Mddison, D. D., Bishop of the said Church. 

Bretuken, — The office to which it hath 



Robert Twiford. 

Archibald Brice. 
Anthony New. 
David Jameson. 

James Taylor. 
( Thomas Tin.sley. 
\ John Garland. 

Edwd. Carrington. 

James A. Bradley. 

Mills Godwin, 

Charles Yancey. 

SArch. Richardson. 
John Driver. 
Charles Carter. 

pleased the church, by the permission of Provi- 
dence, to call me, is attended with duties of a 
very serious and interesting nature. Would to 
God I were capable of discharging them in a 
manner equal to that full conviction which I 
have of the importance of the trust, or to that 
ardent but charitable zeal for the prosperity of 
our church, which it shall be my endeavour at 
all times to evince. I should then anticipate a 
satisfaction from the expected fruits of my la- 
bours replete with the highest reward, and esteem 
myself happy indeed in being called to an office 
which enabled me to be e.Klensively useful in a 
cause the most interesting to mankind. But 
when I reflect upon my own imperfections ; 
when I consider the present situation of our 
church ; and further, when I cast my eyes to- 
wards the many obstacles to its prosperity which 
present themselves on every side, I confess to 
you that, struck with the arduous enterprise, I 
feel myself for a moment intimidated ; that for 
a moment despondency instead of hope, fear of 
evils greater than we have yet experienced in- 
stead of the consolatory anticipation of better 
prospects, take possession of my soul. 

It is from you, my brethren, from this re- 
spectable assembly, from the strenuous and 
zealous support of the many worthy members 
of our church, and particularly from the zealous 
co-operation of her pastors ; but, above all, it is 
from the favour of Heaven itself that 1 derive 
hope and animation. Yes, my brethren ; while 
I can flatter myself with your zealous co-opera- 
tion, while I can behold the ministers of our 
church anxious, nay, ardent in the great work 
in which we are engaged, so long I will indulge 
the pleasing, the animated hope, that Heaveij 
will smile upon our labours, that the obstacle? 
which now surround us will vanish before our 
united e.\crtions, and that religion, pure and spot- 
less as she sprung from the Eternal, will once 
more regain her blissful empire in the hearts of 
men. Let us reflect that difficulties, instead 
of depressing, often serve only to call forth new 
ardour, even in pursuits that are bounded by this 
world. Let us follow the example ; but with 
this dulercnce, that our ardour should rise above 



33 



CONVENTION OF 1791. 



that of others in pi'oportion to the superior im- 
portance of the cause in which we are engaged. 
Li such apijHcalion, such zeal, such courage, be 
exerted to accoinphsh ends which must still 
bear the stamp of mortality, surely an infinitely 
greater degree of application, of zeal, and of 
courage, may be expected from those who have 
in view eternal pursuits and immortal ends. 

Encouraged by these considerations, permit 
me, in entering upon my episcopacy, to request 
your attention to such observations as the pres- 
ent occasion seems to require ; and to exhort 
you, my reverend brethren in particular, at the 
same time admonishing myself, that we should 
not only recall to mind the duties of our voca- 
tion, but endeavour to reanimate each other, as 
bearing the same burden : and since Providence 
hath permitted me to be placed in a station 
so responsible to God and man, and hath asso- 
ciated you with Ine as fellow-labourers in my min- 
istry, let us go to the source of our misfortunes, 
and try to discover the necessary remedies. 

I. Were we then, in the first place, to in- 
vestigate the causes which have operated in re- 
ducing our church to its present situation, per- 
haps we should find that too many of them have 
originated from ourselves. The suggestion, I 
am well aware, is j)regnant with reflections the 
most poignant and alarming. But I do not 
think I should discharge my duty in the manner 
which my conscience and my inclination dic- 
tate, were I not to speak upon this occasion 
with all that plainness and freedom which the 
importance of the subject demands. I know 
that our church is blessed with many truly pious 
and zealous pastors ; pastors from whose ex- 
ample the greatest advantage may be derived 
by all of us ; but, at the same time, I fear there 
is too much reason to apprehend, that the great 
dereliction sustained by our church hath arisen 
in no small degree from the want of that fervent 
Christian zeal which such examples ought more 
generally to have inspired. The trials to which 
vvc have been exposed^ the reverse of situation 
which we have experienced, the coldness and 
indiJference of our lay brethren to their most 
essential interests, both temporal and eternal, 
are considerations, it is true, which seegi to 
plead strongly in our excuse. But though our 
most fervent zeal might not, and indeed ought 
not to have prevented that reverse of situation 
in one respect, yet perhajis it has been too much 
aggravated by our own conduct. The coldness, 
t'ne ind.fl'erence of the laity, of which we so 
much complain, from whence hath it arisen ! 
Hath the sacred fire committed to our trust 
been everywhere and at nil times cherished by 
us with that watchful and zealous attention 
which so holy a deposite required ! Had it been 
thus cherished, might not, my brethren, that 
ancient (lame, which once animated and en- 
lightened the members of our church, still have 
dilfuscd its warmth, and thus have banished far 
that coldness which threatens an aj)proaching 
torpor fatal to religion? or, instead oi indifler- 
ence to our church, might wc not now have 
beheld many of those members who have for- 
aatoQ hoT, stiH ardent and zealous in her sup- 



port ] In an inquiry which so nearly concerns 
every minister of the church, who shall not be 
found wanting! — Great God ! perhaps a want 
of zeal in the discharge of my pastoral duties 
may have stored up for me, in the dreadful 
secrets of thy justice, judgments at which I 
ought to tremble ! But I will implore the ex- 
tension of thy mercies. I will endeavourj with 
thy aid, not only to awaken within mvself a just 
sense of my duties, but exert the small portion 
of talents which thou hast allotted to me in 
impressing deeply upon the minds of all my fel- 
low-labourers, " that a holy, fervent zeal, at- 
tempered with charity, is the most essential 
qualification of a minister of the gospel, and the 
first effect of sacerdotal grace." 

Be ye then raitwed in the spirit of your mind, 
or of your vocation. Recollect, ii.y reverend 
brethren, to whom the apostle formerly addressed 
this word of exhortation — to ministers of the 
gospel, as has been well observed, who exposed 
their lives every hour for him who sent them ; 
to ministers, peisecuted, reviled, trampled under 
foot, yet suHering with joy, and embracing death 
as a reward ; to the first preachers of the Chris- 
tian religion, among whom were apostles, froph- 
ets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers ; to men 
whose sanctity and zeal the whole world, with 
all its ostentatious philosophy, could not re- 
sist. Such were the men to whom the apos' 
tie thus earnestly recommended, that they 
should renew themselves in the spirit of their 
vocation ; men who were still full of that holy 
spirit which had lately descended from heaven, 
and who, like their master, diffused it from 
their plenitude over the people and the nations. 

It is this same exhortation which I address to 
you, and at ihe same time to myself; to us, who 
are respectively called to the ministry, as the 
successors of those men, in this latter age ; an 
age which would substitute the cold lessons of 
a political philosophy for those sublime, those 
warm and consolatory ideas, that spring from 
religion, and which are no less necessary to 
vivily the moral, than the rays which flow from 
the sun are to m\ igorate the vegetable world ; 
to us, who not only behold those temples dedi- 
cated to the living Gou too frequently deserted 
by their once warm and zealous friends, but to 
us, in whose days, unless those ideas, so prolific 
of duty, which our religion enforces, be revived, 
licentiousness must triumph, and not only shake 
the foundations of civil liberty, but, like a tor- 
rent, bursting all the mounds of virtue, must 
overwhelm whatever remains of truth, integrity, 
and happiness. Let us then be renewed, I en- 
treat you, in the spirit of our vocation ; in that 
holy, fervent zeal, which should be the distin- 
guishing characteristic of every minister of the 
gospel. 

But how is that zeal, which I now recom- 
mend as the most essential qualification of every 
minister of the gospel, to be displayed 1 I an- 
swer, by the manner in which we shall dis- 
charge the ministerial functions, by our coti' 
eersution, and bi/ our exampk. Be thou an ex- 
ample of the believers, in word, in conversation, 
in cliar'Uy, in spirit, in faith, in purity. A law* 



CONVENTION OF 1791. 



JTul minister of the gospel, in the language of the 
apostle, is an amhassador for Chrisl. Such a 
■character su^^gesls to us, in the first place, the 
importance and the dii;nity of our functions, and 
■at the same time, the fidelity and the zeal with 
which they should be performed. But such a 
^ninisler is also termed a labourer together n-ith 
God for the salvation of souls ; by preaching 
the gospel, by the administration of the sacra- 
ments, and by all those other functions which 
tend to promote and establish virtue and charity 
among men, and to keep alive a just sense of 
the inestimable benefits of the Christian dis- 
pensation. We are also, my brethren, to watch 
for the souls of others, as they that are to give 
un account. If such be the nature, such the 
functions, of our sacred embassy, what minister, 
what priest, what bishop is there, who will not, 
with pious awe, reflect most seriously upon the 
■momenlous charge conunilted to him ; and 
while he profoundly meditates upon the extent 
of his duties, ardently supplicate, at the throne 
of grace, the renewal of that fervent zeal, with- 
out which the great ends of his ministry can 
never be accomplished. 

II. Renewed with this holy zeal, we should 
turn our attention to ihe principal means which 
are offered to us of displaying it ; and of labour- 
ing effectually, together with God, for the salva- 
tion of souls. The first which presents itself 
is pulpit eloquence. Pulpit eloquence, my rev- 
erend brethren, is one of those remedies for 
which our present misfortunes call aloud ; it is 
that ethereal fire which, if properly excited and 
conducted, will not fail to restore our enfeebled 
church. 

Every minister of the gospel will readily 
agree, that his first duty is to adapt his dis- 
courses to those important purposes for which 
he is called to the ministry. As an ambassador 
of Christ, he must continue the mission of his 
Lord. His discourses must have for their con- 
stant aim the salvation of souls ; he must keep 
alive a just sense of God, the beneficent Crea- 
tor and preserver of the universe ; he must 
make known the gospel of Christ, and the man- 
,ner of our redemption ; he mtist convince men 
of the certainly of a future judgment ; he must 
keep their consciences awake to the dangers of 
.sin ; he must show that religion is the rock upon 
which our happiness, both temporal and eternal, 
must be founded ; he must, in short, enforce all 
the truths of our religion, in order to jiersxiade 
men to be virtuous and good. The pulpit ora- 
tor must address the understanding, inform and 
enlighten the mind ; he must " reason" of righte- 
ousness, temjitrance, and judgment to come, but 
he should remember that knowledge without 
practice is useless. He must convince in order 
to persuade. He must not only prove to men 
in what their greatest good consists, but call to 
ills aid all the powers of the oratorical art, to 
versuade them to love and to pursue that good ; 
he must not only give just and clear views of 
jeligious truths, but inculcate them in so forci- 
ble a manner tlat they shall penetrate the heart ; 
-that they shall there make an impression which 
no time or circumstances can ever cflace. It is 



thus that he will influence the practice of his 
hearers ; it is thus that practice will gradually 
ripen into habit, and that men will see and ac- 
knowledge that happiness is the offspring of 
religion. 

In whatever point of view we consider this im- 
portant part of the ministerial functions, it must 
i)c acknowledged, that every sermon should be a 
persuasive oration. Let, then, the situation of 
the church, and, in particular, the glorious fruits 
which spring up at the voice of the persuasive 
preacher, excite within us an ardent desire to 
render our discourses truly persuasive. To ac- 
complish an end so devoutly to be wished, per- 
mit me to recommend, with a degree of ear- 
nestness which the sincerest anxiety only for the 
honour and the prosperity of our church could 
call forth, that all the principles of pulpit elo- 
quence be most assiduously studied by every 
minister of the church ; and that, by reiterated 
practice in private, they endeavour to evince 
their energy in public. Be persuaded that pul- 
pit eloquence is an art, and one of the noblest, 
perhaps I may also add, one of the most difficult 
of the arts. But, should difficulties appal those 
whose profession enioins the attainment of this 
art as a sacred duty 1 To attain it, however, 
we must first be possessed of all the principles 
upon which the art is founded ; we must study 
tiiose authors who have most clearly developed 
them ; and then we should despise all toil, all 
labour, until we are enabled to reduce them to 
practice. It is then, my brethren, we shall in 
such a manner rcasoti of righteousness, of tem- 
perance, and a judgment to come, that every sin- 
ner shall tremble, and with new-born fervour ac- 
knowledge, thou pcrsuadest me to be a Christian. 

What I have taken the liberty to recommend, 
appears to be well worthy of the attention of 
every pastor ; but to the minister who has just 
entered upon the career of his labours, it is cer- 
tainly of the utmost importance. If he be anx- 
ious, at the eve of a life dedicated to the service 
of his God, to enjoy the noble, the grateful ret- 
rospect, of having promoted piety among men, 
of having rendered them virtuous and happy, by 
persuading them to practise those duties which 
they owe to themselves, to their fellow-crea- 
tures, and to their God, he must be eloquent ; he 
must unite the two great characteristics of the 
pulpit orator, gravity and warmth. They should 
be united, not only in the composition of his 
discourses, but also in his manner oi delivering 
them. The nature of the subjects ujjon which 
he is to speak requires gravili/; but their im- 
portance to mankind demands also warmth; 
they demand, essentially, that pious, interest- 
ing, aff'ecting, penetrating manner, which a cvn- 
sciousness of the moinenious truths he delivers 
naturally dictates. 

I do not pretend that equal eminence is at- 
tainable by "every preacher. Each will have a 
manner in some respects peculiar to himself, 
Every man hath his proper gift of God, one 
after this manner, another after that. What is 
natural we should preserve ; but we may, by 
attention, not only remove adventitious faults, 
but greatly improve our proper pfts. For thia 



40 



CONVENTION OF 1791. 



purpose it has been recommended, occasionally, 
to request some person in the congregation, 
upoii whose judgment and candour we can rely, 
to point out wiiHtever may be defective either 
in the management of the voice or in action. 
Good sense, and an earnest desire of being a 
profitable minister of the church, will soon eti'ect 
the desired amendment. But every attempt 
towards amendment as a preacher, presupposes 
that the inanimate method of reading sermons 
is to be abandoned. The best discourse, when 
the eyes are continually fixed to the paper, in- 
stead of exciting warm affections, will scarcely 
engage the attention. Bat, on the otiier hand, 
when a sermon has been sutficienlly digested, 
and in part committed to memory, it may be 
delivered with freedom and spirit ; the preacher 
will be at liberty to enforce his words with cor- 
respondent looks, and even with a becoming 
action ; he will insensibly address every part of 
his audience, and thus perceive whether they 
comprehend what has been delivered, or whether 
he has moved and roused them as he intended ; 
he will also, after a short experience, be enabled 
to enlarge upon particular heads, as the occa- 
sion may require, or to add to his discourse new 
observations and reflections, more striking than 
might have occurred to hitn at the cool moments 
of composition ; he will likewise, by prudent 
extemporaneous efforts, counteract those de- 
claimers whose popularity depends upon such 
a method of speaking ; and as their followers 
have the strange credulity to think them pos- 
sessed of a supernatural gift, he will enjoy the 
reward of undeceiving them, by imitating the 
practice of St. Paul upon another occasion ; 
what I do, I toill do, that wherein they glory, 
they miiy he found ecen as we. The truth is, 
we have lost too many members of the church 
by the cold method of reading sermons, and by 
not preaching in a manner sufficiently evangeli- 
cal ; nor shall we either recover them, or pre- 
vent a continued diminution of our numbers, 
until we accustom ourselves to ritr/are with zeal, 
with force, and with spirit, all the counsel of 
God. Let it be declared in a manner adapted 
to the comprehension of the lowest as well as 
of the highest. Let it be our care, as it was 
our Saviour's, that the poor have the gospel 
preached to them. It is among them that re- 
ligion is most cherished; the heavenly blessing 
is their chief consolation and support, even in 
this world. They stand in most need of reli- 
gious instruction ; and therefore every pious min- 
ister will consider himself as conscientiously 
bound to take the greatest care, that his dis- 
courses be not only calculated for that purpose, 
but that they may be delivered in a manner 
which shall command their attention, and in- 
spire an ardent love for piety and virtue ; he 
will always remember that he -is a debtor both to 
the wise and the nnirise ; he will consider, both 
while he is framing and preaching his discourse, 
'•whether this be sufficiently adapted to the 
capacities, the state of mind, the circumstances, 
of the poor ; will this part be clear, that home 
enough; a third well guarded against mistakes; 
will they return as much better disposed than 



they came, as it was in our power to make 
them V In short, he will always endeavour that 
the icord of God may be still, as it was origi- 
nally, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged 
sicord. 

It will not be inferred, I hope, from what has 
been said, that I am an advocate for that man- 
ner which is termed theatrical ; on the con- 
trary, I consider it as most improper in the 
Christian orator, or for those noisy declama- 
tions with which Christian congregations are 
sometimes addressed. No; such declamations 
are as unworthy of comparison with the har- 
mony of that eloquence which allures the soul to 
heaven, as the noise of cranes with the delight- 
ful symjihonies of the organ. 

Much also of our attention should be turned 
to the manner in which the other parts of divine 
service ought to be performed. We boast, and 
certainly with the greatest reason, of the excel- 
lency of our liturgy. Let us then study to de- 
liver it in a manner worthy of such a composi- 
tion ; let us study the art of reading _ Let us 
study to read distinctly, emphatically, fervently ; 
we should no longer behold congregations inat- 
tentive ; on the contrary, we should have the 
satisfaction of experiencing that the service, 
read or delivered with devotion, wiih force, and 
propriety, would infuse the spirit of devotion, 
and excite an ardent love for so excellent, so 
rational a form of public worship. 

\^^e complain, and with too much reason, of 
the decadence of religion, of the declension of 
our church, and of the inefficacy of the minis- 
terial labours ; but let her ministers be dis- 
tinguished not only for piety and learning, but 
for pulpit eloquence and propriety of reading ; 
we should soon find that they would be admi- 
red, followed, and almost adored. 

III. In the next place, let me exhort vou, my 
brethren, earnestly to impress upon parents not 
only the duty of infant bnptism, but also the 
farther duty of having them instructed, as early 
as possible, in the principles of Christianity, and 
thus prepared for the ancient apostolic rite of 
confirmation. I trust the ministers of each 
parish will consider the instruction of children, 
in the principles and duties of Christianity, as 
an important part of their functions, and that, 
for this purpose, they will, at regular stated 
periods, examine and instruct them in their 
catechism, as our church directs. She pru- 
dently and wisely extends her maternal arms to 
the rising generations at the earliest periods. 
Gratitude for tho.^e blessings will be a source 
of the strongest attachment at a more advanced 
period. So far as the episcopal duties may re- 
quire attention, I hope in God they will be 
(hscharged with a becoming zeal and fidelity. 
It is my present purpose tricnnially to visit each 
parish ; and I flatter myself I shall enjoy the 
consohng prospect, not only of seeing our con- 
gregations revived, and religion everywhere 
diffusing its vital hlessings, but also that such 
children as are come to years of discretion will 
be properly instructed and prepared for the rite 
of confirmation. 

IV. In the fourth place I must observe, that 



CONVENTION OF 1791. 



41 



psalmody has been loo much neglected in our 
churches. Let us be careful to revive so exalt- 
ed ;i part of our public worship, and to render it 
not only more perfect, but more general. Let 
us endeavour to encourage those schools where- 
in that maimer which is most melodious, and at 
the same tunc properly adapted to public wor- 
ship, may be taught. All the mfimbers of 
our religious assemblies will thus be enabled 
and induced to join in those solemn acts of 
praise and thanksgiving ; or, in making a jmjful 
noise to the God of tkcir salvation, and in si/iff- 
ing his praise ictth understanding. It has ap- 
peared to me, that a proper attention to this 
subject is one of tlie necessary requisites to re- 
vive our congregations; and also, that the 
modern psalmody is generally to be preferred. 
There are various hymns, composed by many 
excellent and pious men, which breathe the 
spirit of true devotion, and which are admirably 
adapted to Christian worship; they admit of 
that solemn and elevated strain of harmony, 
which never fails to excite and increase, by 
sympathetic emotions, that ardour which should 
pervade the whole congregation ; they may 
therefore be introduced to the greatest advan- 
tage. 

V. But among the many duties which await 
us as ministers of the gospel, there can be none 
more important than that of earnestltj pressing 
upon the minds of our congregations the obliga- 
tion and the benejits of receiving, at regular 
stated times, the sacrament. I fear the com- 
municants, in too many parishes, are not as 
numerous as formerly. If this be the case, it 
surely indicates an alarming declension of a just 
sense of the religion we profess. Let me, then, 
exhort you, particularly to impress upon your 
congregations the duties of observing strictly 
this- holv ordinance, instituted by Christ him- 
self, and the distinguishing badge of a ("hristian 
society, by plain, practical, and interesting dis- 
courses, wherein the nature, end, and benefit 
of the Lord's Supper may be clearly and fully 
shown. 

VI. Another important duty, incumbent upon 
the ministers of Christ, claims also our atten- 
tion ; which is, to exercise a godly discipline. 
Without such discipline, the church of Christ, 
which should be holy and without blemish, can- 
not [)rosper. It is the duty of every pastor of 
the church to check the progress of wicked- 
ness by all means hecomnio the spirit of the 
gospel ; by exhortation and by reproof, both pri- 
vate and public. If this pirt of the ministerial 
discipline be performed with meekness, with 
prudence, and Christian charity, it would cer- 
tainly be attended with happy effects. But 
there is a discipline which {);irticularly respects 
ourselves, and which must be most strictly re- 
garded. The church has wisely ordered that 
visiters should be selected for certain districts, 
and pointed out tlie duties which they are to 
perform. Those duties, I hope, will be most 
sedulously attended to ; and therefore I beg to 
take this opportunity of exhorting and of char- 
ging all those ministers who are intrusted with 
tlje visitatorial power, to consider the duo exer- 



cise of it as indispensable. I doubt not of your 
zeal in this respect, but the importance of the 
trust requires that the strict execution of it 
siiould be earnestly recommended. This is not 
only necessary for the preservation of that godly 
discipline, without which our church must rush 
precipitately into still greater difficulties than 
those which now surround her ; but the annual 
visits of clergymen, respectable for their piety, 
their zeal, their example, their eloquence, must 
serve to reanimate the members of the church, 
must confirm the wavering, and give fresh ac- 
tivity to the spirit of religion. We should be- 
hold our churches upon those occasions crowd- 
ed ; we should find a love for public worship 
would soon succeed to that indifference which 
is now so predominant. I am satisfied also, 
upon the same principle, that if the neighbour- 
ing ministers would occasionally assist each 
other in the performance of divine service, the 
interchange would be productive of the greatest 
benefits to the church. The love of novelty, so 
congenial to the human mind, should be grati- 
fied ; or, rather, that principle should be seized 
upon and employed as one of the means which 
are offered to us to -promote religion, to con-_ 
duct men to the knowledge of the gospel, to 
prevent their being carried about by every blast 
of vain doctrine, and to renovate the former 
attachment to our church. As far, then, as such 
an interchange of pastoral duties can be effect- 
ed, I would warmly recommend it also to the 
ministers of our churcii. 

VII. There still remains, my brethren, a sub- 
ject of great importance, at all times, to the 
church, but which, at present, requires a par- 
ticular attention. A minister of Christ is to 
teach his flock by his good example. He is to 
be the pattern of all good works. Ye are the 
salt of the earth. Ye are, by your example as 
well as your doctrine, to prevent that corruption 
of manners to which the nature of man continu- 
ally tends. Example, you know, is the abridged 
method of persuasion. Men live, for the most 
part, by imitation. It is the source of almost 
all their vices and their virtues. What happi- 
ness for that parish, or that congregation, when 
God raises up among them a minister whose 
example for piety and virtue serves as a specta- 
cle both for men and angels ! It is, if I may 
avail mvself of the observations of one of the 
luminaries of the Christian church, a continued 
gospel before their eyes. If his example should 
not recall men to their duties, at least it inspires 
them with respect for virtue ; it forces them to 
acknowledge that there are still just men upon 
earth ; repairs the injury which unworthy min- 
isters do, in the opinion of the public, to the 
sanctity of the ministerial character ; and cor- 
rects the censures and the derisions which lib- 
ertines throw upon the ministry itself Yes, 
my brethren ; though a pious minister should 
confine all the good he can do to the example 
of a regular and edifying life ; though he should 
only show to the public, in the detail of his 
manners, an example of piety, of prudent con- 
versation, of charity, of modesty, of innocence, 
and of sacerdotal gravity, it would be still true, 



42 



CONVENTION OF 1791. 



that he would be set for the rising or the salva- 
tion of many. 

But, on the other hand, what reflections must 
attend that pastor, who, through the defect of 
such an example, sees, that during the course of 
a lonT ministry, he has not withdrawn a single 
soul from the ways of destruction ; that he has 
corrected no disorders, public or private, in his 
parish ; that, instead of effecting a change for 
the better, his ministry has been attended with 
a rapid degeneracy of manners, and a contempt 
for religion ! \\ hat reflections must he make 
■upon the long inutility of his ministerial labours ! 
Ought he to search for the cause in his own 
conduct, in his relaxed piety, in his want of 
that zeal which should have animated a Chris- 
tian pastor, in the defect of that example which 
should have adorned his life, or in the hardness 
and depravity of his flock ! But alas ! when 
the heavenly lustre of a pious and virtuous ex- 
ample is wanting, how can the event be other- 
wise ? Doth he reprove, correct, instruct I It 
is not with that earnest zeal which animates the 
truly pious. Doth he deliver truths the most 
alarming! They are accompanied with an air of 
coldness or insensibility which takes from thein 
all their influence ; or, if he attempt a zeal, a 
warmth which such truths call for, that pure 
and spotless character, which gives weight and 
energy to the most simple discourse, is wanting ; 
they come disarmed of all theiV force ; instead 
of transfusing into the souls of his hearers an 
ardour for religion, or kindling the divine fire 
of love for God, they make no impression, but 
melt away like the sounds which convey them, 
and are nowhere fell. How different the effect 
when such truths fall from the lips of a minister 
respectable for his virtue and piety, whose ex- 
ample, in word, in convena/ion, in chanly, in 
spirit, in faith, in purity, is a source of con- 
tinual instruction ! Doubt it not, my brethren ; 
if we would speak with dignity and success, we 
must stand, like the apostle, upon the holy emi- 
nence of a sublime virtue and an animated zeal. 
It is from that eminence that we must speak 
terror into the souls of the violators of divine 
law, that we must draw tears of compunction 
from the eyes of the wicked, and oblige them, 
by the ardour of our zeal, to burn or trample 
under foot the idols which they have hitherto 
worshipped. 

We cannot too often reflect, that the voice 
of mankind, the nature of our ofFicc, the solemn 
engagements we entered into when that office 
was conferred upon us, tire prosperity of the 
church, the commands of our Lord and master, 
every consideration, either of duty or honour, 
demands from us a life of holiness. There are 
some vices, such as those of profaneness and 
ebriety, such as spring from ungoverned pas- 
sions, from a disregard to veracity and honour, 
which demonstrate a mind lost to every principle 
of goodness ; God grant that such may never 
be found incur society ! But should they un- 
happily be found, or llie least approximation to 
them, every member of the chuich, and in partic- 
ular every worthy minister, is IxjunJ, by motives 
the most sacred, to exert hinnself in expelling 



from among us examples so ruinous to religion, 
so calamitous to the church, so disgraceful to 
humanity. There arc, however, some failings 
to which we may be more exposed, and which, 
though not stained with the turpitude of those 
just mentioned, still tend to destroy the respect 
which is due to the ministerial character, and to 
detract from the utility of our labours. We 
should always bear in mind, that what may be 
slightly censured in others, is often deemed 
criminal to ministers of the gospel. Even they 
who solicit a clergyman to enter into all the 
diversions of the day, and entice him to an im- 
prudent levity, will afterward despise him as 
a minister, though they afl'ect to esteem him as 
a friend. Let not the example or corrupted 
sentiments of the world, let not an aft'cctalion 
of spirit and freedom, let not any inducement, 
prevail upon us to depart, in any instance, from 
the character we have undertaken to support. 
Beauty of character always reposes upon con- 
sistency. This is particularly expected from 
us, and must be maintained, if we would acquire 
respect and real esteem. 

I have considered it as my duty earnestly to 
recommend zeal. It is certainly an essential 
qualification of the ministerial character. But 
we should beware of intemperate zeal. This 
vice, as well as the slighter failings to which we 
stand exposed, may insinuate itself too easily 
unless we guard against it Respect for Chris- 
tians of every denomination, a liberal and candid 
interpretation of their sentiments and designs, 
is a necessary consequence of that charity, that 
love, which is so often enjoined by the inspired 
writers. Instead of cherishing or encouraging 
animosities, be it ours to show an example wor- 
thy of the Christian character. Forbearance 
will thus become general ; and at length, per- 
haps, we may all be united in the bonds of love 
and peace. Should, indeed, our just rights as a 
Christian society be invaded, it then becomes a 
duty, I had almost said a sacred duty, for I feel 
the obligation to be such, to maintain thetn 
with firmness. But let prudence and charity 
always prescribe the rule of conduct. 

But in a place so full of the sacerdotal spirit, 
I will not dwell longer upon this subject, how- 
ever interesting and momentous. God grant 
that the ministers of this church may ever bear 
in mind their high vocation ; that they may be 
distinguished as examples to believers for the 
purity of their manners, for their godly conver- 
sation, for the soundness of their faith, for their 
charity to other sects, for liberal and extensive 
knowledge, for the practice of the most exalted 
virtue, and for their earnest zeal in the dis- 
charge of all their ministerial functions ! May 
we ever remember, that all our labours will be 
fruitless, that the most edifying truths of the 
gospel will be lost in darkness, unless they be 
attended with that light which beams from a 
pious and virtuous example. May you, my 
reverenil brethren, who discharge your duties 
with so much edification, serve as models to 
the more negligent ; may your fervour, your 
e.vample, diffuse their influence through every 
member of the church, until, by the grace of 



CONVENTION OF 1791. 



43 



God, we all acquire those habits of piety, un- 
feigned humility, extensive benevolence, charity, 
and every other amiable virtue which can adorn 
our profession or our religion. Thus shall we 
be found faithful stewards ; thus shall we ensure 
our own salvation, while vvc are engaged in 
promoting the snlvation of others. 

There are many other subjects of great ina- 
portance to us as a Christian society, to which 
I might, and perhaps ought to have requested 
yo\ir attention ; but [ fear I should tres[)ass upon 
your patience. I must rely upon your own 
serious reflections, and tliat holy ardour which, 
I trust, will animate the breast of every minister 
of the church, to supply what has been omitted. 

To you, mv rrspecled lay brethren, I beg now 
to address a few observations. It is with the 
sincerest pleasure that I congratulate the 
church on the attachment w'hich many excel- 
lent characters among the laity have uniformly 
manifested to the communion in which they 
were nurtured. I must applaud and admire 
their attachment, since I behold in them not 
onlv zealous Christians, but the best of patriots. 

Yes, my brethren ; to minds free from preju- 
dice, and uncorru[)ted by the sophisms of the 
age, nothing appears more amiable, nothing 
more essential to the happiness of man, either 
in his individual or social capacity, than that 
pure and truly divine religion which our SavicHjr 
delivered. The voice of reason, the language 
of experience, the records of all ages, evince 
that the happiness of individuals and the pros- 
perity of nations spring from the principle of vir- 
tue. But from whence can this principle gain 
so firm a support as from religion ; from just and 
exalted ideas of that Being who delights in vir- 
tue I In vain shall the legislator enact laws 
upon laws ; in vain shall the moralist prescribe 
rules of duty ; in vain shall he harangue upon 
the beauty of virtue and the deformity of vice : 
respect for the laws will vanish ; virtue will 
lose its elasticity ; corruption of manners, with 
all their consequent and dreadful attendants, 
must ensue, unless those principles be fortified 
by religion, — by just ideas of our relation and 
dependance upon a God, all-wise, all-just, om- 
nipotent, and omnipresent, — the avenger of ini- 
quity, but the remunerator of virtue The 
effect cannot be otherwise. The mere coercive 
power of human laws, aided by all the abstract 
deductions of the political moralist, is inade- 
quate to the great ends either of private happi- 
ness or public liberty. This position will not 
be questioned, if we reflect that it is religion 
alone which penetrates the secret recesses of 
the soul, and furnishes that interior authority 
which so regulates the heart of man, that its 
ruling passions are made to harmonize with the 
great and essential appointments of public law. 
If, indeed, laws in the present slate of society 
appear to restrain men, it is because their nas- 
cent passions have felt the control of religious 
instruction But were men freed from the mild 
bonds of religion ; were their passions no longer 
under the control of its salutary instructions ; 
were those ideas of duty, which flow from the 
fcelief of an all-ruling Providence, no longer to 



have their influence over the human heart ; was 
the soul no longer, as soon as reason begins to 
dawn, to hear the awful voice of religion ; I 
would ask, in the name of every thing which 
men hold most dear, in the name of truth, of 
integrity, of benevolence, of every imperfect 
right, of social order, of civil liberty, nay, of 
philosophy Itself, whether the coercive power 
of human laws, together with all the abstrac- 
tions of the moralist, would be sufficient to curb 
the violent impetuosity of those headlong pas- 
sions which every moment stimulate to action] 
Or rather, I would ask, if religion were no longer 
the faithful sentinel, whether, when inflamed 
by the innumerable temptations which present 
themselves on every side, they would not burst 
all those restraints, as a thread of tow is broken 
inhen it touchcth the fire 1 As well might a 
Samson be bound with green vnlhcs, or with 
new ropes which icere never occupied. Besides, 
there are a thousand duties, a thousand rights, 
and as many correlative obligations, wliich, 
though of the first consequence to social hap- 
piness, are, however, of so delicate a nature, 
that they elude the coarse touch of civil laws. 
But, even admitting that the causes before men- 
tioned were adequate to the desired ends, who 
would not prefer the mild coercion of reUgion, 
which prevents crimes, to the sanguinary laws 
which punish them ; the one, a guardian angel, 
bearing u^ up, lest at am/ time we dash our 
foot against a stone ; while the other, like a 
Saturn, devours his own children. Doubt it 
not, my brethren, " every thing," as an amiable 
and eloquent philosopher observes, "is replaced 
and firmly established by religion ; it surrounds, 
I may say, the whole system of morality, re- 
sembling that universal and mysterious force in 
the physical world, which retains the planets in 
their orbits, and subjects them to a regular rev- 
olution ; and which, in the midst of the general 
order it maintains, escapes the observation of 
men, and appears to their feeble sight uncon- 
scious of its own work." 

But, my brethren, it is not you only who will 
acknowledge the justice of these observations ; 
infidelity itself has reluctantly acknowledged the 
transcendent excellence of our holy religion ; 
even infidelity has not denied, that the gospel 
system was admirably calculated to promote the 
temporal happiness of mankind. But how much 
more enlarged and exalted are those views which 
that system presents to the eye of faith ! They 
are not bounded by the narrow horizon of this 
world ; they extend beyond the grave ; they 
penetrate into regions of immortality ; the cer- 
tainty of future rewards and punishments is 
contemplated ; misery and vice, happiness and 
virtue, are beheld as inseparably associated, even 
when this transitory scene shall vanish and be 
no more ! What a noble, what a powerful, what 
an almost irresistible stimulus to great and 
laudable action, to the exercise of every virtue 
which can adorn the Christian or the citizen ! 
One of the wisest of the ancients, to whom the 
gospel system was not revealed, held it as a 
maxim, " That it is impossible for those who 
have no belief of the immortality of the soul, or 



44 



CONVENTION OF 1791. 



a future state of rewards and punishments, to 
sacrifice iheir particular interests and passions 
to the public good, or to have a generous con- 
cern for posterity." Nay, the almost inspired 
Fiato has declared, •' that concerning those great 
duties which men's appetites and passions render 
difficult, it should seem rather the work of God 
to provide, than of human legislators." The 
Sun of righteousness had not risen in their days ; 
but with what love, with what ardour, with 
what gratitude, should not we cherish the glo- 
rious light which now beams from it ; a light 
whose genial rays warm and expand the noblest 
virtues of the human soul ; a light which shows 
to man the unerring path that conducts to in- 
dividual and to social, to temporal and to ever- 
lasting happiness Let us clierish the blessings 
which it gives ; let us leave to infidelity its dark 
and comfortless system ; but let us not deny 
the Lord that bought us ; let us earnestly con- 
tend for the faith which was once delivered to 
the saints. 

My brethren, our religion claims a divine 
descent ; it is the work of God ; hut let it not 
be thought that it doth not therefore require the 
support of man. Far otherwise ; it is the very 
reason, as w^as well observed by a venerable 
prelate of our church, which should urge us to 
exert the utmost care and diligence in its sup- 
port. Good men will consider it as their in- 
dispensable duty to co-operate with the designs 
of Providence. It is in religion, as in the works 
of nature. God supplies abundantly the means, 
the rest is left to human industry. He causes 
the earth to bring forth materials for food and 
raiment ; but human industry must i:nprove, 
prepare, and properly apply, both the one and 
the other. The same analogy extends itself to 
religion. The things which belong to our salva- 
tion, though originally the work of God, require 
the protection of human aid, the furtherance of 
all wise and good men. 

Since, then, God has graciously revealed his 
will, and supplied the means of rendering it 
known to all ; to supply those means, and lo 
make that use of them which his goodness de- 
mands, it is the duty of man. But how can 
this be effected but by a standing mimslry ? by 
an order of men properly instruclrd and sup- 
ported, whose whole business it shall be, week- 
ly and daily, to attend to the interests of reli- 
gion, to preach the gospel, to make known its 
whole system, to convince men that they are 
accountable to God for their actions — in a 
word, to enforce those principles of piety and 
of virtue which lead both to present and future 
happiness? It was for this irasonthat our Sav- 
iour gave authority to his apostles and their suc- 
cessors, to finish the work which he had begun ; 
that is, to preach the gospel to all succeeding 
generations : " Go ye and make disciples to me 
in all nations, baptizing them in the name of 
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost; leaching them lo observe all things 
xchatsoever I have commanded you, and lo ! I 
am with you unto the end of the world." This 
commission was given to the apostles and their 
micc«e9or3. Men are thus commiseioned by 



Jesus Christ to teach what he has commanded 
them, — who have his promise to be with them 
in the exercise of their ministry unto the end of 
the world. Let us, then, consider a standing 
ministry, properly instructed and supported, as 
essential to the prosperity of the church, and as 
the means originally designed to make known 
the will of God. 

But a standing ministry is not only necessary 
to make known the great truths of our religion, 
not only necessary to persuade men to be vir- 
tuous and good, but to perform those ordinan- 
ces established by Christ himself, and which 
they alone can perform. The sacraments of 
baptism and of reconciliation are surely bles- 
sings which every wise and good man must 
esteem of the highest importance ; yet how will 
they be dispensed, but by ministers duly autho- 
rized ? They are the stewards of the ministry 
of God. But the ministers of Christ have also 
a daily charge upon them ; they stand obliged, 
either publicly or in private, to offer to God the 
prayers of the church in behalf of their flocks ; 
to return thanks for the divine mercies ; and to 
implore the protection and the blessing of God 
upon their labours. 

'• In short, the ministers of the gospel, and 
the ordinances intrusted to them, are those ordi- 
nary means by which God himself hath ap- 
pointed that men should be taught, edified, 
blessed, and saved." 

I will not add to the benefits of a standing 
ministry already mentioned, those which must 
result from having men of learning, piety, and 
virtue, in every parish, v^ho may instruct your 
children in their early years in the rudiments of 
knowledge. I will not speak of the advantages 
which must result from the establishment of 
private schools in each neighbourhood, which 
may be conducted by men worthy of the minis- 
try ; nor of the incitements to virtue which 
must arise from their examples. These, and 
many other considerations, I leave to your own 
reflections : — but I would impress strongly upon 
your minds the blessings which must arise from 
a ininistrv properly instructed and qualified to 
discharge the sacred office ; I would present to 
you, in all its force, not only the duty of encour- 
aging and supporting the means which God 
hath appointed for the dissemination of Chris- 
tianity, and thus of co-operating with the de- 
signs of Providence ; but I entreat you to call 
to mind the calamities, both individual and 
social, which must flow from the neglect of 
those means. For a moment, let us behold the 
pure religion of our forefathers, together with a 
mode of worship which bath excited the admi- 
ration of men the ino.sl distinguished for piety, 
wisdom, and patriotism, borne down by a tor- 
rent of ignorance and enthusiasm : behold her 
expiring through the cold neglect of her once 
warm and zealous friends : behold her templea 
tottering to ruin, her ministers slighted, her 
flocks scattered ufiin the hills as sheep that have 
not a shepheid. Should such a spectacle be pre- 
sented to us, might we not soon expect also to 
behold virtue retiring, the bonds of society 
burbting asunder, corruption advancing with 



CONVENTION OF 1791. 



45 



rapid strides, liberty and happiness preparing lo 
bid us ;i long adieu I May such a spectacle, my 
friends, never be seen but in iniayinalioii. 
Wise, priiilont, virtuous, and patriotic men, 
will, however, guard against so calamitous an 
event. They will consider pure and undetiled 
religion as the rock upon which all their hopes 
are founded ; they will contem))late tkc things 
U'hich bf.long to our salvation, as requiring the 
protection of human aid ; and they will be ac- 
tive, strenuous, and zealous in atlording it ; they 
will consider that our church re(iuires the ten- 
der, the affectionate, the fostering care of all 
the ministers of her family ; and that her future 
prosperity depends not only upon the zeal of 
the clergy, but of the laity. It is theirs to en- 
courage respect for their pastors ; to set a just 
value upon their labours ; to esteem them highly 
for their xcorks' sake ; and to be attentive to pro- 
mote the interests of the church, by all those 
means which a catholic s|)irit will ajjprove. It 
is theirs to be constant and uniform in their at- 
tendance upon divine worship, and to stimulate 
each other by a reciprocal example ; it is theirs 
to assist our ministers in forming I he mmds of 
the rising generation to the love. of religion and 
virtue, and to imi)ress, at the earliest ])criod, a 
just esteem and veneration for our church. O, 
let not religion, source of so many hopes, aban- 
don the infant mind ; leave it not desolate ; and, 
above all, defend it from the ascendency of 
ignorance and enthusiasm, which atHict the 
heart, which render it miserable and abject, by 
protending to comfort it ! Moreover, it is the 
part of the laity to make prudent arrangements 
for the certain and decent support of the clergy, 
and thus to enable thenr constantly to apply to 
their functions. 

They who preach the gospel, St. Paul declares, 
should live hy the gospel. Let me then earnestly 
recommend, in order that you, and your childrcv, 
and your childreji's children, may receive all the 
blessings of a learned, pious, zealous, standing 
ministry, that the worthy and iiillueniial mem- 
bers in each parish warmly interest themselves 
in the decent support of the clergy, and uni- 
formly pursue those means for the attainment 
of so desirable an end which may be thought 
best. If a similar mode were adopted through- 
out the church, if it were considered as the duty 
of each member to contribute in the proportion 
which the law formerly prescrihcd, the burden, 
thus divided, would be light, and I doubt not 
but the happiest effects would ensue. But, my 
brethren, think not that what has been just said 
is merely for our own sakes. You cannot, you 
will not, if you reflect upon the benefits of a 
standing ministry, such I mean as becomes the 
church of which we are members ; or if you 
regard that rational mode of worship to which 
you have been long accustomed, and the ad- 
vantages of religious instruction for yourselves, 
your children, your country. 

To you, reverend brethren, as the anchor of 
my hopes, my thoughts again return. Let us 
sincerely and earnestly endeavour, I once more 
entreat you, to be renewed in the spirit of our 
vocation. Let our diligence, as ministers of 



the gospel of Christ, rise in proportion to the 
difficulties which surround us. Let us uni- 
loimly preserve an inviolable equity in all our 
transactions, a generous disinterestedness in 
our functions, the strictest adherence to the 
rules of the church, the most warm and anima- 
ted piety ; but, above all, a fervent zeal for the 
salvation of souls. In a word, let us be sober, 
prudent, serious, diligent, and pious; in all things, 
examples to the flock. Remember, son of man, 
that I have made thee a watchman unto the house 
oj Israel ; there] ore hear the ivord of my mouth, 
and give them warning from vie. If thou dost 
not speak to warn the wicked from his wicked 
way, he shall die in his iniquity ; but his blood 
will I require at thine hand. But if thou warn 
the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, 
he shall die in his iniquity ; but thou hasl de- 
livered thy soul. 

But, my brethren, vain will be our endeavours 
for the prosperity of our Zion, unless they be 
attended with fervent prayers, that God would 
graciously enable us lo perform our duty with 
zeal, fidelity, and success. Our sufficiency is 
of God. To that infinitely great and glorious 
Being, let us therefore, with humility, nov« offer 
up our united supplications. 

Almighty and everlasting God. Look down 
from heaven, and behold and visit this vine, 
and the vineyard which thy right hand hath 
planted ; shed the dew of thy blessing upon the 
labours of thy servants here assembled ; may thy 
holy 8|)iril animate the ministers of the gospel 
of Christ with a sincere and fervent, but cath- 
olic zeal, in the discharge of their duties ; may 
it inspire them with true piety, with charity, 
with every godly and virtuous affection. Pros- 
per, O Lord, our endeavours to revive among 
us a just sense of the inestimable benefits of 
true religion ; dispose the hearts of the laity to 
receive thy word, and grant that the fruits of 
righteousness may abound more and more. 
Hrlp us, for the glory of thy name, and merci- 
fully grant, that every member of thy holy 
church, in his vocation and ministry, may truly 
and godly serve thee, through our Lord and 
Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen. 

The Rev. John Cameron laid before the Con- 
vention sundry resolutions of a presbytery held 
at the glebe of Martin's Brandon Parish on Wed- 
nesday, the 13ih of April, 1791, which were read, 
and ordcied to be referred to a committee of the 
whole Convention. 

Ordered, That Mr. J. Cameron, Mr. Waugn, 
Mr. Peachy, and Mr. New, be added to the com- 
mittee for revising the canons. 

Mr. New reported, fiom the committee of 
elections. That the committee had, according to 
order, examined the certificates of the appoint- 
ment of deputies to serve in the present Con- 
vention, and had come to a resolution thereon, 
which was read and agreed to by the Convention, 
as followeth 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this com- 
mittee, that the certificates of the appointment 
of deputies to serve in the present Conven- 
tion for the parishes of Abingdon, Ajitriin, Bath, 



46 



CONVENTION OF 1791. 



Berkeley, Bristol, Bruton, Charles, Christ's 
Church, Cumberland, Dale, Drysdale, Eliza- 
beth River, Fairfax, Henrico, Hunpars, James 
City, King William, Liltleton, Lynnhaven, Lex- 
ington, Manchester, Meherrin, Nottoway, Ra- 
leigh, St. Asaph, St. Bride, St. David, St. 
George (Accomack), St. George (Spotsylvania), 
St. James Northam, St. Margaret, St. Mark, 
St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Paul, Southam, South- 
wark, Suffolk, Trinity, Upper Parish (Nanse- 
mond), and \\'estover, are made as prescribed 
by canon. 

The Convention, according to order, resolved 
itself into a committee of the whole Conven- 
tion on the resolutions of the presbytery held 
at Martin's Brandon glebe, and after some time 
spent therein, Mr. Page reported, That the com- 
mittee had, according to order, had the said 
resolutions under their consideration, and had 
come to several resolutions thereon, which were 
read and agreed to, as foUoweth : — 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this com- 
mittee, that as there are at present no divinity 
schools in our church, the instruction of stu- 
dents in divinity might very properly be made 
part %f the business of each presbytery within 
its own bounds ; and that the presbyteries, in- 
stead of meeting annually on a certain day, 
should be required to assemble as often as any 
student of that description should make applica- 
tion ; and when thus assembled, should examine 
the applicant, and, on finding his literary quali- 
fications such as the canon made in that behalf 
requires, prescribe to him a theme or text, and 
give him sucli directions as they may think prop- 
er, in order to enable him to compose a dis- 
course on the same, and, on a future day to be 
appointed by themselves, hear him deliver the 
said discourse. 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this com- 
mittee that every candidate for holy orders 
ought to be required to produce to the bishop 
to whom he may present himself for ordination, 
a certificate of his having performed, in a satis- 
factory manner, the several exercises prescribed 
to him by the presbytery. 

Resolved, That it is tiie opinion of this com- 
mittee, that the members of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church within this commonwealth ought 
to form a society for the relief of distressed 
widows and orphans of clergymen, and that a 
committee ought to be appointed to frame a 
plan of such a society. 

Ordered, That a canon or canons be brought 
in, pursuant to the first and second resolutions, 
and that the committee appointed to revise the 
canons prepare and bring in the same. 

The Convention adjourned until 12 o'clock 
to-morrow. 

Thursd.w, M.w 5. 

Mr. Shield, from the committee appointed to 
revise the canons, reported. That the committee 
had, according to order, taken under their con- 
sideration the business to them referred, and 
had prepared canons to be substituted in the 
place of the 8th, 16th, 18lh, and 2nth canons, 
ftud also a canon for the trial of offending min- 



isters not holding parishes, which several can- 
ons, after being twice read, were referred to a 
committee of the whole Convention. 

The Convention having resolved itself into a 
committee of the whole Convention on the can- 
ons, and having spent some time therein, Mr. 
Page reported. That the committee had, accord- 
ing to order, had the same under their consider- 
ation, and had made some amendments thereto, 
which were read and agreed to, and the canons 
were ordered to be fairly transcribed and read a 
third time. 

A letter from the Rev. Mr. Emmerson, visit' 
er of District No. 20, resigning that office, was 
read ; w-hereupon the Rev. James Taylor, Rector 
of Suffolk Parish, was appointed visiter in his 
room. 

On motion. Resolved, That this Convention 
do recommend it to the Right Rev. Dr. James 
Madison, bishop in this state, to dispense with, 
in the examination of such gentlemen as are 
now in deacon's orders in this state, that knowl- 
edge of the Greek and Latin languages which is 
required by the seventh canon of the General 
Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
in the United Slates of America. 

Frid.^y, M.4Y 6. 

The canon to be substituted in place of the 8th 
canon, was read the third time and passed. 

The canon to be substituted in place of the 
16th canon, was read the third time and rejected. 

The canons to be substituted in place of the 
18th and 29th, were severally read the third 
time and passed. 

Ihe new canon for the trial of offending 
ministers not holding parishes, was read the 
third time and rejected. 

Leave was given to bring in a canon to amend 
the thirty-first canon ; and Mr. Foushee, Mr. 
Patteson, Mr. Jarratt, Mr. Craig, Mr. Waugh, 
and Mr. Carrington, were appointed to prepare 
and bring in the same. 

Resolved, That deputies be appointed to at^ 
tend any Geneial Convention of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church which may be called before 
the month of May, 1792 : And the Rev. John 
Bracken and Robert Andrews, Esquire, were ac- 
cordingly ap[)ointed. 

Resolved, That a standing committee be ap- 
pointed, to continue in ofbce until the end of the 
next session of Convention, with the like powers 
as were vested in the last standing committee : 
And the Rev. John Bracken, Rev. Samuel 
Shield, Robert Andrews, Esquire, Rev. Henry 
Skyring, Hon. Joseph Prentis, Hon. Cyrus Grif- 
fin, and Joseph Hornsby, Esquire, were accord- 
ingly appointed. 

Resolved, That 300 copies of the Journal of 
this Convention he printed under the inspectiorj 
of the Rev. Mr. Buchanan, and that the charge 
delivered by the president, together with the 
ordinances and canons, be annexed to the same. 

Resolved, That it be recommended to the sev- 
eral vestries of this church to transcrilie the 
ordinances and canons into their vestry-books. 

Resolved, That it be recommended to the 
ministers of this church to read or cause to be 



CONVENTION OF 1701. 



47 



read the ordinances and canons in each of 
their churches at h-iist once in every year. 

Resolved, That is'ew-Year"s day beset apart 
for the purpose of divine worship, and that the 
ministers in their respective parishes recom- 
mend it to their parishioners to devote them- 
selves particularly on that day to the service of 
their Alaker. 

Mr. Foushee, from the committee appointed 
to prepare and bring in a canon to amend the 
31st canon, reported, Tliat the committee had, 
accordmg to order, prepared the same ; which 
was received, read the usual numbe- of times, 
and passed. 

Mr. New, from the committee appointed to 
examine the treasurer's accounts, reported, That 
the committee had, according to order, examined 
the same, and found them justly and fairly sta- 
ted, and that the balance in his hands for general 
purposes wa3 108/. IS*. Id.; and the balance 
belonging to the bishop's fund 15/. 12s. 8d. ; 
but that of the sum of 200/., directed by the 
last Convention to be paid to the bishop for the 
purpose of obtaining his consecration, only 136/. 
lis. lOd. had been paid.* 

Resolved, That the treasurer's accounts do 
pass. 

Resolved, That the treasurer, out of any 
money in his hands, pay to Bishop Madison the 
sum of 63/. 8s. \id., the balance due to him 
on the vote of the last Convention. 

Resolved, That it is the duty of every member 
of the Protestant Episcopal Church to contrib- 
ute towards a decent and comfortable support 
of their bishops and other pastors, and to de- 
fray the necessary expenses of their church. 

Resolved, That to promote the welfare of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church, it be recommend- 
ed to the vestries of the several parishes to raise 
a fund for the general purposes of the said 
churcii. 

Resolved, That it be recommended to the sev- 
eral parishes withm this commonwealth, to send 
the sum of sixteen dollars each, to the Rev. Mr. 
Buchanan, treasurer, on or before the first 
Thursday in May next^ to he applied by the 
Convention, in such proportions as they shall 
judge necessary, to enable the bishop to make 
his visitations, and to perform the other duties 
of his otfice, and for the other purposes of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church in this state. 

Resolved, That the report of the church prop- 
erty in the parishes within this commonwealth, 
directed by the last Convention to be forwarded 
to the Rev. Mr. Buchanan, and laid before this 
Convention, together with such further reports 
on the same subject as shall come to his hands, 
be registered by the treasurer in a book to be 
kept for that purpose, in which shall be distin- 
guished the parish and each species of property 
under its respective head in separate columns. 
On motion, resolved, That the State of Vir- 
ginia be divided into districts for assembling the 



» Mr. Graham Franks, merchant, of London, 
gave five guineas to the bishop's fund, as a mark 
of his zeal for the interest of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church m Vugmia. 



ministers in presbytery and for other puiposes, 
as set forth in the 8th canon, and that the dis- 
tricts be arranged in the following manner, viz : 
District No. 1, containing the parishes of 
Lynnhaven, Elizabeth River, Portsmouth, St. 
Bride, Suflblk, and Upper Parish (in Nanse- 
mond), Rev. James Taylor, visiter. 

District No. 2, containing the parishes of 
Newport, Southwark. St. Luke, and Nottoway 
(in Southampton), Rev. George Gurley, vis- 
iter. 

District No. 3, containing the parishes of Mar- 
tin's Brandon, Albemarle, Bristol, Bath, Dale, 
and Manchester, Rev. John Cameron, visiter. 
District No. 4, containing the parishes of 
Raleigh, Nottoway (in Nottoway), Cumberland, 
St. Andrew, Meherrin, and St. James, Rev. 
James Craig, visiter. 

District No. 5, containing the parishes of 
King William, Southam, Littleton, Tillotson, 
and St. Patrick, Rev. Elkanah Talley, visiter. 
District No. 6, containing the parishes of 
Cornwall, Antrim, Camden, and Russell, Rev. 
Alexander Hay, visiter. 

District No. 7, containing the parishes of 
Patrick, Finc.astle, and Botetourt. 

District No. 8, containing the parishes of 
Accomack, St. George, and Hungars, Rev. 
Samuel S. M'Croskey, visiter. 

District No. 9, containing the parishes of 
Elizabeth City, Warwick, Yorkhampton, Charles, 
and Bruton, Rev. John Bracken, visiter. 

District No. 10, containing the parishes of 
Abingdon, Ware, Kingston, Pettsworth, and 
Christ's Church (in Middlesex), Rev. Samuel 
Klug, visiter. 

District No. 11, containing the parishes of 
James City, Blisland, St. Peter, and Westover, 
Rev. James Henderson, visiter. 

District No. 12, containing the parishes of 
South Farnham, St. Anne, St. David, St. John, 
Straiten Major, St. Stephen, and Drysdaie, 
Rev. Jesse Carter, visiter. 

District No. 13, containing the parishes of 
St. Asaph, St. Margaret, St. Mary, St. Paul, 
and St. Martin, Rev. Abner Waugh, visiter. 

District No. 14, containing the parishes of 
Henrico, St. James Northam, and Trinity, Rev. 
John Buchanan, visiter. 

District No. 15, containing the parishes of 
St. George, Berkeley, St. Thomas, St. Mark, 
and Bromheld, Rev. James Stephenson, visiter. 
District No. 16, containing the parishes of 
Fredericksville, St. Anne, Amherst, and Lex- 
ington, Rev. Matthew Maury, visiter. 

District No. 17, containing the parishes of 
Augusta and Beckford. 

District No. 18, containing the parishes of 
Christ's Church (in Lancaster), St. Stephen, Wi- 
comico, Lunenburg, and Farnham, Rev. Thom- 
as Davis, visiter. 

District No. 19, containing the parishes of 
Cople, Washington, Overwharton, Brunswick, 
Hanover, and St. Paul. 

District No. 20, containing the parishes of 
Fairfax, Truno, and Dcttingen, Rev. Brian 
Fairfax, visiter. 
District No. 21, containhig the parishes of 



48 



CONVENTION OF 1791. 



Hamilton, Leeds, Cameron, and Shelburne, 
Rev. James Craig, visiter. 

District No. 22, containing the parishes of 
Frederick, Norborne, Hampshire, and Hardy, 
Rev. Alexander Balmain, visiter. 

The Convention having taken into considera- 
tion a resolution of the last General Convention, 
respecting the propriety of investing the House 
of Bishops with a full negative on the proceed- 
ings of the other house, came to the following 
resolution : 

Resolved, That the deputies from the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church in this state to the 
next General Convention, be instructed to e.x- 
press the disapprobation of this Convention re- 
specting the matter of the said resolution of the 
General Convention. 

Resolved, That the Rev. Mr Jarratt be re- 
quested to preach a sermon at the next Con- 
vention. 

Resolved, That the next Convention be held 
in the city of Richmond. 

The first canon was amended with respect to 
the time of the annual meeting of the Con- 
vention. 

And then the Convention adjourned until the 
30lh day of April, 1792. 

James Madison, President. 
Robert Andrews, Secretary. 



CANONS. 

I. Conventions shall be holden annually on 
the first Thursday in May, provided neverthe- 
less, that if a sufficient number of members to 
form a Convention shall not attend on the said 
day, any five then assembled shall have power 
to adjourn. 

n. A person shall preside in Convention with 
the name of president, who shall always be a 
bishop, when there is one present properly con- 
secrated and settled in the church, till which 
time a president shall be appointed by the Con- 
vention out of their own body ; if more than one 
bishop is found necessary in the church, they 
Bhall preside alternately. 

ni. A secretary shall be appointed bv the 
Convention, who shall continue in office diirini^ 
good behaviour, who shall keep a record of their 
resolves and proceedings, and have the records in 
his custody so long as he shall continue in office. 

IV. Standing rules shall be established for 
the preservation of decorum, and the orderly 
management of business. 

V. All questions, whether they relate to the 
order, government, discipline, doctrine, or wor- 
ship of this chuicli, or to any other matter vvhicii 
is properly before the Convention, shall be de- 
termined by a majority of votes. 

VI. At all future Conventions, each member 
(whether minister or layman) shall, previous 
to his admission, jiroduce a testimonial of his be- 
ing regularly appointed, which testimonial shall 
be signed by one or both of the church-wardens, 
or bv the clerk of the respective vestries. 

VII. All the ordinances and other proceed- 
ings of the Convention shall be attested by the 
secretary. 



VIII. The clergy of the several neighbouring 
parishes, not less than three nor more than ten, 
shall assemble in presbytery annually on some 
Sunday in April, and at other times, if required 
thereto, at some convenient place in the dis- 
trict. One in each district shall be appointed 
by the Convention to preside at their meetings, 
with the title of visiter, who shall name the 
place and time of meeting ; shall annually visit 
each parish in his district ; shall attend to and 
ins])ect the morals and conduct of the clergy ; 
shall see that the canons and rules of the church 
are observed and practised ; shall admonish 
and reprove those clergymen who are negligent, 
or act in an unbecoming manner ; and shall re- 
port yearly to the bishop, if there be one, or, if 
there be no bishop, to the next Convention, the 
state of each parish in his district, noting down 
the ofienders and their offences. It shall be the 
business of the presbytery when thus assembled 
to instruct and examine candidates for holy 
orders within their respective districts, to pre- 
scribe to them a thesis or text, and give them 
proper directions for composing a discourse on 
the same ; and it shall be the duty of every candi- 
date for holy orders to make application to the 
presbytery of the district within which he re- 
sides for such instruction and examination. 

IX. The clergy who shall minister in this 
church shall be the three orders of bishops, 
priests, and deacons. 

X. Every person hereafter to officiate in this 
church as a bishop, shall be nominated by the 
Convention ; and having received episcopal con- 
secration before he enters on his office, shall 
subscribe to conform to the doctrine, disci- 
pline, and worship of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church of Virginia: And no person shall be re- 
ceived into the church as a bishop until he shall 
have completed the thirtieth year of his age. 

XI. As we conceive the oifice of a bishop, ac- 
cording to the true apostolic institution, differs 
in nothing from that of other ministers of God's 
Word, except in the power of ordination and con- 
firmation, and the rights of superintending the 
conduct of the clergy, and of precedency in ec- 
clesiastical assemblies, that office shall be ac- 
cordingly so exercised in this church : And every 
bishop, after his promotion to the episcopal 
order, shall continue to hold a parish and to do 
the duty of a parish minister, except when he is 
necessarily employed in the discharge of his 
episcopal office. 

XII. No bishop shall inflict any censure upon, 
or exercise any power over, the clergy under hia 
inspection, other than he is allowed to do by the 
laws and institutions of this church made in 
Convention. 

XIII. No priest or minister shall hereafter be 
received into any parish within this common- 
wealth unless he first produce to the vestry suf- 
ficient testimonials of his having been regularly 
ordained a priest by some Protestant bishop, 
and of having taken the oath of allegiance to 
this commonwealth, and subscribe to be con- 
formable to the doctrine, discipline, and worship 
of the Protestant Episcopal Church, nor till ha 
shall have entered into a contract in writing 



CONVENTION OF 1791. 



40l 



with the vestry or trustees on behalf of the so- 
ciety within such parish, by which it shall be 
stipulated and declared that he holds the ap- 
pointment, subject to removal, upOn the determi- 
nation of the Convention of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church in this stale. Provided, That any 
person who hath been ordained by a bishop of 
the Church of Rome may also be received as a 
minister, who shall produce satisfactory testi- 
monials respecting his ordination, morals, and 
conduct, renounce the errors of that church, take 
the oath, and subscribe as aforesaid. 

XIV. No minister shall hereafter be received 
into a parish who does not first produce to the 
vestry satisfactory testimonials of his morals, 
conduct, and conversation, from the person or 
persons appointed by the Convention to inquire 
into such matters and grant such testimonials. 

XV. The right of presentation or appointing 
ministers to serve in the parishes shall continue 
in the vestries, and each vestry shall choose its 
own minister. 

XVI. Every person to be ordained priest or 
deacon by any bishop of this church, shall 
first produce testimonials of his good morals 
and orderly conduct from the clergy assembled 
in the district where he for some time last re- 
sided, and from the vestry of the parish where 
he last lived : Provided there be in the district 
a sufficient number of clergymen to form a 
presbyteiy ; otherwise, a testimonial from the 
minister and vestry of his parish, or from the 
vestry alone, if the parish is vacant, shall be 
deemed sufficient : Provided also, the candi- 
date is not an inhabitant of some other state, 
and intended to minister in some parish or con- 
gregation in a neighbouring state. No person 
shall be ordained until due examination had by 
the bishop and two priests. 

XVII. No person shall be admitted to priest's 
orders until he shall have completed the twenty- 
fourth year of his age, and is assured of the 
willingness of some parish or congregation to 
receive him as their minister, to be certified 
under the hands of the church-wardens, and at- 
tested by the clerk of the vestry. 

XVIII. Every person who shall be admitted 
either to priest's or deacon's orders, shall be or- 
dained according to the form prescribed in the 
Book of Common Prayer. 

XIX. No person shall be ordained a deacon 
until he shall have completed the twenty-first 
year of his age. 

XX. No person having deacon's orders only 
shall be allowed to hold a parish. But a deacon 
may, during a vacancy, officiate in a parish, 
if chosen by the vestry to do so. He shall 
preach the gospel and baptize. He may assist 
in administering the sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper, but not consecrate the elements. He 
may solemnize marriages, and shall attend to 
the situation and circumstances of the poor 
where it may be necessary. 

XXI. A person may be ordained a deacon 
though he shall have no assurance of being 
called to minister in a parish or congregation, 
provided his testimonials and qualifications are 
satisfactory tb the bishop. 



XXII. A deacon may minister as a proba- 
tioner or missionary under the direction of the 
Convention or the bishop. 

XXIII. The parish clerk shall be appointed by 
the minister and vestry, and displaced by theni 
whenever his services are not satisfactory to the 
people : whenever he shall neglect his duty, or 
otherwise misbehave himself. 

XXIV. Sextons shall be appointed by the ves- 
tries, and dismissed by them when they think 
proper. 

XXV. Bishops shall be amenable to the Con- 
vention, who shall be a court to try them, from 
which there shall be no appeal. On all such oc- 
casions a president, who shall be a bishop, shall 
be chosen by the Convention to sit as judge, and 
they shall also appoint a clerk to the court. 

XXVI. All accusations against a bishop, as 
such, shall come from the vestries ; but no accu- 
sation against a bishop shall be received unless 
three vestries join in the complaint. All com- 
plaints against a bishop shall be lodged with 
such persons as may be appointed to call a Con- 
vention, and a copy of the charge or charges to 
be brought against him shall be communicated to 
him in writing at least two months before the 
trial. Counsel may be employed on both sides ; 
and none but «iya wee evidence shall be admitted. 

XXVII. Disorderly, scandalous, and immoral 
conduct, neglect of duty, a disregard to the rules 
and canons of the church, or taking a bribe to 
grant either ordination or a recommendation for 
a vacant parish, shall be considered as offences 
in a bishop, for which he may be brought to 
trial, and, on his being convicted of any of these, 
he shall be reproved, suspended, or dismissed, 
at the discretion of the court. 

XXVIII. Courts shall be instituted to exam- 
ine into complaints exhibited against ministers or 
deacons, which courts shall be composed of one 
clergyman and one vestryman from each parish 
of the district in which the accused minister re- 
sides, the parish excepted to which the minister 
belongs. The appointment of the vestrymen 
shall be by lot ; and the visiter of the district, 
unless he shall be the accused person, shall pre- 
side as judge ; and in that case, the oldest cler- 
gyman in orders shall be the judge ; Provided 
nevertheless. That where the number of settled 
clergymen in the district be less than two, the 
visiter shall call for a clergyman from a neigh- 
bouring district ; and, moreover, if, when the 
court assembles, the number of vestrymen shall 
be found to exceed the number of clergymen 
present, so many vestrymen shall be withdrawn 
by lot as shall be necessary to equalize the 
numbers of the two orders. 

Any number of members, not less than three, 
two of whom shall be clergymen, shall be sulfi- 
cieiit to constitute a court. 

On conviction of a minister, the court shall 
proceed to pass sentence, which shall be none 
other than reproof or suspension ; and in all cases 
where the offence shall be thought to deserve 
suspension, the court shall without delay report 
the facts and state the evidence to the bishop ; 
or, until a bishop shall be consecrated for the 
church in this state, to the chairman of the 



50 



CONVENTION OF 1791. 



standing committee, who, with the standing 
committee, or three fourths of the same, shall 
be, and are hereby constituted and appointed 
a court, in the last resort, to try the offender ; 
and who, if they do not acquit him, shall either 
confirm the sentence of the examining court, or 
pass such other sentence as a majority of them 
shall think the offence deserves ; which shall 
be either reproof, dismission, or degradation. 

XXIX. Complaints against a minister shall 
be received from the vestry of the parish where 
the minister officiates, and from no other person 
or persons whatever. They shall be signed by 
a majority of a vestry, without which no com- 
plaint shall be received. They shall be directed 
to the visiter of the district in which the ac- 
cused minister resides, or, where there is no 
visiter, or if the visiter be the person accused, 
to a member of the presbytery in the said dis- 
trict, who shall forthwith appoint a convenient 
time and place for the trial, and take care that 
the members who are to compose the court shall 
have timely information thereof. 

In every complaint, the offence or offences 
shall be stated ; and the minister shall be fur- 
nished with a copy of the charges brought 
against him, and with notice of his intended 
trial, at least one month before the trial ; viva 
voce evidence only shall be admitted, and that 
upon oath ; and counsel may be employed on 
both sides. 

The visiter, or person to whom the complaint 
shall be made, shall cite the accused person 
before the appointed court ; which shall (unless 
the person accused is prevented from attending 
by sickness) proceed to the trial, examine the 
testimony against the offender, and take the 
depositions of the witnesses. 

XXX. No vestryman shall sit on the exam- 
ination of a minister belonging to the parish 
wherein such vestryman resides ; the examina- 
tion shall be held in the parish where the ac- 
cused minister officiates, and at a place to be 
appointed by the vestry ; the judges shall appoint 
a clerk occasionally for such examinations. 

XXXI. Disorderly, scandalous, and immoral 
conduct, neglect of duty, a disregard to the 
rules and canons of the church, or taking a bribe 
to recommend either for ordination or a parish, 
are to be considered among the offences for 
which a minister, whether benefited or not, may 
be brought to trial. 

Complaints against a minister who has never 
been inducted into a parish, or, having been in- 
ducted, shall have vacated the same, shall be re- 
ceived from the minister as is hereinafter di- 
rected, or from the vestry of the parish where 
the offence is said to have been committed. 
They shall be signed by the minister of such 
parish, and four of his vestry at least, or by a 
majority of the vestry, where the minister is not 
included as a complainant, without which no 
complaint shall be received ; and all other 
proceedings shall be the same as for the trial 
of a beneficed minister, except that the parish 
wherein the offence is alleged to have been 
committed shall be considered as the parish 
vvhcre the offending minister resides : Provided 



' always. That where the visiter or his vestry make 
the complaint, the next eldest minister in the 
district shall act in the place of such visiter ; 
and the court shall have the same power to pro- 
nounce sentence as against the beneficed min- 
ister. 

XXXII. Deacons behaving in a scandalous, 
disorderly, or immoral manner, or who neglect 
the duty they have undertaken, shall, on full and 
satisfactory proof, be suspended or silenced by 
the bishop until the sense of the Convention 
shall be known. And the salary accruing during 
the suspension of a minister or deacon who is 
afterward found guilty, shall go to the vestry, for 
the use of the church. 

XXXIII. Bishops shall visit the different 
parishes under their inspection once in three 
years at least ; of which visitation the clergy 
or church-wardens shall have timely notice ; in 
their visitation they shall confirm such as choose 
to receive confirmation, they shall inspect the 
state of the parishes, and the conduct of the 
clergy, who shall give them what information 
they can respecting such ecclesiastical matters 
as they may choose to be informed of 

XXXIV. Bishops shall hold ordinations at 
such times and places as they may judge neces- 
sary and convenient. 

XXXV. Bishops, after every visitation, shall 
report the state of the church in the different 
parishes to the Convention. 

XXXVI. No minister or bishop shall be al- 
lowed to hold more than one parish at the same 
time. Nevertheless, a minister may, if called 
thereto by the vestry, preach in a neighbouring 
parish or parishes during a vacancy in such 
parish or parishes, and may receive a compensa- 
tion for his services, provided he has the con- 
sent of his own vestry, and shall not neglect the 
duties of his parish. 

XXXVII. Every minister shall reside within 
his parish, unless a majority of his vestry shall 
agree to dispense with his residence ; and shall 
at no time leave it for more than one month 
without the consent of the said vestry. 

XXXVIII. Ministers shall, at their churches 
and other convenient places, instruct children, 
and such ignorant persons as may require it, in 
their catechism, and the principles of the Chris- 
tian religion as maintained by this church ; pro- 
vided this duty may be dispensed with during 
the inclement winter months. They shall also 
explain the nature of confirmation, and instruct 
and prepare their parishioners for it. 

XXXIX. Ministers and deacons shall wear a 
surplice during the time of prayer at public 
worship, in places where they are provided ; shall 
wear gowns when they preach, where they con- 
veniently can ; and shall at all times wear ap- 
parel suited to the gravity of their profession. 

XL. Ministers and deacons may encourage 
people to assemble together in small societies 
at convenient times for their edification, and 
may visit, superintend, and instruct such soci- 
eties at their meetings ; provided they shall not 
do it to the encouragement of idleness, or to 
the injury of private families. 

XLI. Ministers officiating in this church, 



CONVENTION OF 1792. 



SI 



whether bishops, priests, or deacons, shall preach 
once at least on every liOrd's day, and at other 
stated seasons, unless prevented by some suffi- 
cient cause; they may at their discretion preach 
also at other times, when opportunities shall 



offer of edifying the church ; bishops and priests 
shall administer the sacrament at least four 
times in the year at each church or place of 
worship in their respective parishes, and shall 
visit the sick when called on for that purpose. 



Journal of a Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in the State of Virginia, held in the 
Capitol in the City of Richmond, May 3d, 1792. 

A List of the Members of the Convention. 



Parishes. 
Antrim, 
Bath, 
Bristol, 
Bruton, 
Charles, 

Christ Church (Middlesex), 
Christ Church (Lancaster), 
Cumberland 
Dale, 
Frederick, 
Henrico, 
Hungars, 
James City, 
King William, 
Littleton, 
Manchester, 
Martin's Brandon, 
Raleigh, 
St. David, 
St. James Northam, 
St. John, 
St. Luke, 
St. Margaret, 
St. Mary, 

St. Paul (Hanover), 

St. Stephen (K. & Queen), 

St. Stephen (Northumb.), 

South Farnham, 

Southwark, 

Westover, 

"Wicomico, 



Clergymen. 

Devereaux Jarratt. 
John Cameron. 
John Bracken. 
Samuel Shield. 

David Ball. 

James Craig. 

Needier Robinson. 

Alexander Balmain. 

John Buchanan. 

Samuel S. M'Croskey. 

James Madison (Bishop & Pres.). 

Elkanah Talley. 
William Cameron. 
John Jones Spooner. 

Reuben Clopton. 
Charles Hopkins. 

Joseph Gurley (Assistant Min.). 

Abner Waugh. 



Thomas Davis. 
Andrew Sim. 
Samuel Butler. 
James Henderson. 
John Bryan. 



Lay Deputies. 
Henry E. Coleman. 
Peterson Goodwin. 
Archibald Gracie. 
Robert Andrews. 

Francis Corbin. 



Jerman Baker. 

William Foushee. 
John Tankard. 
John Ambler. 
Thomas Harris. 
John H. Overstreet. 
David Patteson. 
George Ruffin. 
William Murray. 
Nathaniel Burwell. 
Archibald Bryce. 
Carter Braxton, jun. 

Anthony New. 

i John Pendleton and 
: William Norvell. 
Thomas Hill. 

William Gatewood. 
James Allen Bradby. 
Charles Carter. 



On Thursday, the third of May, in the year of 
our Lord one thousand seven hundred and 
ninety-two, being the day appointed for the 
meeting of the Convention of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in the Commonwealth of 
Virginia, a sufficient number of members to pro- 
ceed on business being present. 

The Right Rev. Bishop Madison took his 
seat as President of the Convention. 

Robert Andrews took his seat as Secretary to 
the Convention. 

The Rev. Mr. Bracken, from the standing 
committee, reported standing rules for regula- 
ting the proceedings of Conventions, which 
were read and agreed to, as follows : — 

1. No member shall absent himself from the 
service of the Convention unless he have leave, 
or be sick and unable to attend. 

2. When any member is about to speak in 
debate, or deliver any matter to the Conven- 
tion, he shall rise from his seat, and, without ad- 
vancing, shall with due respect address himself 

D2 



to Mr. President, confining himself strictly to 
the point in debate, and avoiding all indecent 
and disrespectful language. 

3. No member shall speak more than twice 
in the same debate without leave. 

4. A question, being once determined, must 
stand as the judgment of the Convention, and 
cannot be again drawn into debate during the 
same session. 

5. While the President is putting any ques- 
tion, no one shall hold private discourse, stand 
up, walk into, out of, or across the house, or 
read any book. 

6. Every member who shall be in the Con- 
vention when any question is put, shall, on a 
division, be counted on one side or the other. 

7. When the Convention is to rise, every 
member shall keep his seat until the president 
go out. 

Ordered, That a committee be appointed to 
examine the return of the sitting members, and 
to report thereon. And a committee was ap- 



52 



CONVENTION OF 1792. 



pointed of Mr. Bracken, Mr. Corbin, Mr. 
Shield, and Mr Ambler. 

Ordered, That Mr. Patteson, Mr. William 
Cameron, Mr. Davis, and Mr. Baker, be ap- 
pointed a committee to examine the treasurer's 
accounts, and to report thereon. 

Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a 
canon or canons to amend the 15th, 29th, and 
30th canons ; and that Mr. Talley, Mr. Hen- 
derson, Mr. Brice, Mr. New, Mr. M'Croskey, 
and Mr. Bracken, prepare and bring in the same. 

Ordered, That Mr. Shield, Mr. Carter, Mr. 
M'Croskey, Mr. Bracken, Mr. Braxton, Mr. Cor- 
bin, Mr. Baker, and Mr. Andrews, be appointed 
a committee to form a plan of a society for the 
relief of distressed widows and orphans of 
clergymen of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
in this state. 

Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a 
canon to amend the 20th and 21st canons ; that 
the committee appointed to prepare and bring in 
a canon or canons to amend the 15th, 29th, and 
30th, prepare and bring in the same ; and that 
Mr. Shield and Mr. Baker be added to the said 
committee. 

Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a 
canon to direct the mode in which notorious 
crimes and scandals withm the church shall be 
censured ; and that Mr. New, Mr. Talley, Mr. 
Craig, Mr. Jarratt, Mr. Davis, Mr. Robmson, 
Mr. lluffin, Mr. Patteson, Mr. Foushee, Mr. 
Burwell, and Mr. Bradby, prepare and bring in 
the same. 

The Convention adjourned until 5 o'clock in 
the afternoon. 

M.ty 3, 5 o'clock P. M.— The Rev. Mr. Jar- 
ratt, according to the order of the last Conven- 
tion, preached a sermon before the Convention. 

The Convention adjourned until 10 o'clock 
to-morrow morning. 

Friday, May 4. 

Mr. Shield, from the committee appointed to 
form a plan of a society for the relief of dis- 
tressed widows and orphans of clergymen of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church in this state, 
reported, That the committee had, according to 
order, prepared such a plan, which was read 
and agreed to, as follows ; — 

A fund for the relief of distressed widows 
and orphans of clergymen shall be raised by 
subscription, and subscribers may be divided 
into three classes, viz. : — 

1. Subscribers who choose to have the in- 
terest of their subscription confined in the div- 
idends to the families of subscribing clergymen. 

2. Subscribers who choose to name a par- 
ticular clergyman, to whose family the same 
benefit siiall be extended as to the families of 
subscribing clergymen. 

3. Subscribers who choose to have their in- 
terest applied to relieve indigent families of 
clergymen in general, without conlining it to 
those of subscribers. 

The subscriptions to each class shall be taken 
distinctly, and the account of the interests and 
dividends of the third class shall be kept separ- 
ately from that of the first and second. 



The yearly subscription of each member shall 
be at least six dollars. 

The principal money shall remain a standing 
fund ; and the dividends, which shall be annual, 
shall be made of the interest only. 

In the first and second classes, a subscription 
of five years shall entitle the family for whose 
benefit the subscription was made to a full div- 
idend, provided the subscription be made before 
the 4th day of May, 1793 ; but those becoming 
interested after that time, shall be entitled to a 
full dividend only on a subscription of eight years. 
And in case of a subscription for a less term 
than what entitles to a full dividend, the family 
shall receive in proportion, with the option of 
allowing to be withheld annually a sum equal lo 
the yearly subscription, until they shall be en- 
titled to a full share. 

The claims of widows and daughters shall 
cease at their marriage ; and that of sons on 
their attaining the age of twenty-one years. 

Meetings of the subscribers shall be held for 
the management of the fund, at least once in 
every year, at which each subscriber shall have 
an equal vote. 

The general rule.«5 and principles of the fund 
shall not be altered but with the consent of two 
thirds of the members present at an annual 
meeting. 

The subscribers to the fund shall be called a 
society for the relief of distressed widows and 
orphans of clergymen of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in the State of Virginia. 

A subscriber failing for five years to pay his 
subscription, shall forfeit his claim to a dividend ; 
and in case of failure for any less term, he shall 
j)rcserve it only by a full payment of arrears, 
with interest. 

Five trustees shall be appointed by the so- 
ciety, to continue in office until the next stated 
meeting, or until a new appointment shall be 
made. 

A treasurer shall be appointed by the society, 
by ballot, to continue in office during good be- 
haviour; who shall give bond to the trustees, 
with security, in such penalty as the trustees or 
a majority of them may direct, for the faithful 
discharge of his duty. 

Occasional donations may be received by the 
society, to be applied as the donor or donors 
may direct ; and in case there be no direction, 
the donations shall go into the fund for the gen- 
eral relief of the indigent families of deceased 
clergymen. 

We, the subscribers, do therefore agree to be- 
come members of the said society for the relief 
of the distressed widows and orphans of clergy- 
men of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the 
State of Virginia, and to pay the sums annexed 
to our respective names, to be applied according 
to the class in which our subscriptions shall stand. 

Resolve<l, unanimously. That the thanks of the 
Convention be given to the Rev. Mr. Jarratt 
for the very excellent, seasonable, and animated 
sermon preached by him yesterday before the 
Convention, and that he be requested to pre- 
pare a copy of the same for the press. 

Mr. Patteson, from the committee appointed 



CONVENTION OF 1792. 



to examine the treasurer's accounts, reported, 
That the committee had, according to order, ex- 
amined the same, and found them justly and 
fairly stated ; and that the balance in his hands 
for general purposes is 152/. 8s. Id., of which 
the sum of 102/. Is. 5rf. has been received 
from sundry parishes in consequence of the rec- 
ommendation of the last Convention. 

Resolved, That the treasurer's accounts do 
pass. 

Mr. Bracken presented, according to order, 
canons to amend the 15th, 20th, 21st, 29th, and 
30th canons, and the same were read the first 
time, and ordered to be read a second time. 

Mr. Bracken, from the committee appointed 
to examine the returns of the sitting members, 
reported. That the committee had, according to 
order, examined the same, and found that the 
returns from the following parishes, viz., An- 
trim, Bath, Bristol, Bruton, Charles, Christ 
Church (Middlesex), Christ Church (Lancaster), 
Cumberland, Dale, Frederick, Henrico, Hungars, 
James City, King William, Littleton, Manches- 
ter, Martin's Brandon, Raleigh, St. David, St. 
James Northam, St. John, St. Luke, St. Mar- 
garet, St. Mary, St. Paul (Hanover), St. Ste- 
phen (King and Queen), St. Stephen (North- 
umberland), South Farnham, Southwark, West- 
over, and Wicomico, were made agreeably to 
the canons. 

The canons to amend the 15th, 20th, 21st, 
29th, and 30th canons, were read the second 
time, and amended. 

Ordered, That the same be fairly transcribed, 
and read a third time. 

Resolved, That the Convention proceed by 
ballot to the choice of two deputies, to attend 
any General Convention of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church in the United States of America, 
which may meet before the month of May, 1793. 

The Convention accordingly proceeded by 
ballot to the said choice ; and Mr. J. Cameron 
and Mr. Corbin being appointed a committee to 
examine the ballots, and report to the Conven- 
tion on whom the majority of votes should fall, 
withdrew, and after some time returned into the 
Convention, and Mr. J. Cameron reported, That 
the committee had, according to order, examined 
the ballots, and found them to stand as follows : 
for the Rev. Samuel S. M'Croskey, 25 ; Robert 
Andrews, Esq., 38; Rev. John Bracken, 14; 
Rev. John Cameron, 1; Rev. James Craig, 1. 

A majority of votes appearing in favour of the 
Rev. Samuel S. M'Croskey and Robert An- 
drews, Esq., Resolved, That the Rev. Samuel 
S. M'Croskey and Robert Andrews, Esq. be, 
and they are hereby appointed, deputies to at- 
tend any General Convention of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in the United States of 
America, which may be held before the month 
of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand 
seven hundred and ninety-three. 

Mr. New, according to order, presented a 
canon to direct the mode in which notorious 
crimes and scandals within the church shall be 
censured ; and the same, after being twice read, 
was ordered to be fairly transcribed, and read a 
third time. 



The canons to amend the 15th, 20th, and 29th 
canons were read the third time and passed, as 
follows, to be substituted in the room of the 
said 15th, 20th, and 29th, and numbered as such. 
Canon XV. The right of presentation or of 
appointing ministers to serve in the parishes 
shall continue in the vestries, and each vestry 
shall choose its own minister ; and no minister 
shall officiate as a stated lecturer or preacher in 
any parish in which there is a rector, without 
having first obtained the leave of the said rector, 
or of a majority of the vestry. 

Canon XX. No person having deacon's 
orders only, shall be allowed, as such, to hold a 
parish, until after he hath officiated eighteen 
months as a deacon, and attained the age of 
twenty-five years : A deacon shall preach the 
gospel and baptize ; he may solemnize mar- 
riages, and assist in administering the sacrament 
of the Lord's Supper, but not consecrate the 
elements. 

Canon XXIX. Complaints against a minister 
shall be made on oath, and directed to the visiter 
of the district in which the accused minister re- 
sides, or, where there is no visiter, or if the vis- 
iter be the person accused, to a member of the 
presbytery in the said district ; who shall forth- 
with appoint a convenient time and place for the 
trial within the parish where the accused min- 
ister officiates, and take care that the members 
who are to compose the court shall have timely 
information thereof. The judges shall appoint 
a clerk occasionally for such trials, and no ves- 
tryman shall sit on the trial of an accused min- 
ister belonging to the parish wherein such ves- 
tryman resides. In every complaint, the offence 
or offences shall be stated ; and the minister 
shall be furnished with a copy of the charges 
brought against him, and with notice of his in- 
tended trial, at least one month before the trial : 
Vivd voce evidence only shall be admitted, and 
that upon oath ; and counsel may be employed 
on both sides. 

The visiter or person to whom the complaint 
shall be made, shall cite the accused person be- 
fore the appointed court ; which shall, unless 
the person accused is prevented from attending 
by sickness, proceed to the trial, examine the 
testimony against the offender, and take the 
depositions of witnesses. 

In all complaints where the accused minister 
shall be the only clergyman resident within the 
district, the complaint shall be made to the 
bishop and standing committee, who shall with- 
out delay institute a court, consisting of two 
clergymen from an adjoining district, and two 
vestiymen from the most convenient parishes 
within the district. They shall appoint also the 
time for trial, which shall be held at such place 
within the parish of the accused minister as the 
vestry thereof shall direct. 

Resolved, That a standing committee he ap- 
pointed, to continue in office until the end of the 
next session of Convention, with the like powers 
as were vested in the last standing committee : 
And the Rev. John Bracken, Rev. Samuel 
Shield, Robert Andrews, Esq., Rev. Henry Sky- 
ring, Hon. Joseph Prentis, Hon. Cyrus Griffin, 



54 



CONVENTION OF 1793. 



and Joseph Homsby, Esq., were accordingly 
appointed. 

Resolved, That all reasonable expenses be 
allowed the deputies appointed to attend the 
next General Convention, and that the sum of 
twenty-five pounds be advanced to each of them 
on account. 

Resolved, That the standing committee be 
authorized to appoint a deputy or deputies to 
the General Convention, should either or both of 
the deputies appointed by this Convention be 
prevented from attending. 

Resolved, That all reasonable expenses be 
allowed the Right Rev. Dr. Madison, which he 
has incurred in his several visitations, and which 
may arise from his attendance on the next Gen- 
eral Convention, and that the sum of eighty 
pounds be advanced to him on account. Bishop 
Madison delivered in to the Convention a report 
of his visitations since the last Convention, 
which was read, and is as follows : — 

"Agreeably to the 35lh canon, the bishop 
begs leave to report that he has visited the fol- 
lowing parishes, viz. : York-Hampton, Elizabeth 
City, Abingdon, Ware, Christ Church (Middle- 
sex), St. Anne, St. Paul (King George), Berke- 
ley, Westover, Blisland, Bruton, James City, 
Henrico, and Lunenburg; and is happy to assure 
the Convention that in most of the parishes, the 
conduct of the ministers appeared to be such 
as merited the highest commendation. The 
congregations where he attended were generally 
numerous, and attentive to the form of worship 
established by the church; and though he had 
too much reason to lament that sufficient regard 
was not paid to the decent support of the clergy 
in many of the parishes, yet the diligence with 
which most of the ministers continued to dis- 
charge their sacred functions, while it afforded 
the highest proof of their zeal and piety, yielded 



at the same time a pleasing hope that the church 
would gradually revive. In the five parishes of 
Abingdon, Ware, Christ Church (Middlesex), 
Berkeley (Fredericksburg), and IBruton, up- 
wards of six hundred persons have been con- 
firmed." 

Resolved, That it be recommended to the 
several parishes within this commonwealth, to 
send each the sum of fifteen dollars to the Rev. 
Mr. Buchanan, treasurer, on or before the first 
Thursday in May next, to be applied by the 
Convention as they shall judge necessary, to 
enable the bishop to make his visitations and 
perform the other duties of his office, and to the 
other purposes of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in this state. 

Ordered, That the standing committee be 
directed to apply to the diflTerent parishes 
which have not complied with the requisition 
of the last Convention for the sum of sixteen 
dollars, to transmit the same to the Rev. Mr. 
Buchanan as soon as possible. 

Resolved, That 300 copies of the Journal of 
this Convention be printed under the inspection 
of the Rev. Mr. Buchanan ; and that the ser- 
mon preached yesterday by the Rev. Mr. Jarratt 
be annexed to the same. 

Resolved, That the Rev. Mr. Waugh be re- 
quested to preach a sermon before the next 
Convention. 

The canon to direct the mode in which no- 
torious crimes and scandals within the church 
shall be censured, was read the third time ; and 
the question being put whether the same shall 
pass, it was determined in the negative. 

Resolved, That the next Convention be held 
in the city of Richmond. 

The Convention adjourned. 

Signed, James Madison, President. 

Robert Andrews, Secretary. 



Journal of a Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of Virginia, held in the 
City of Richmond, May 2d, 1793. 



Parishes. 
Antrim, 
Berkeley, 
Bristol, 
Bromfield, 
Bruton, 
Dale, 
Frederick, 
Fredericksville, 
Henrico, 
Hungars, 
James City, 
Kingston, 
King William, 
Littleton, 
Lexington, 
Manchester, 
Nottoway, 
St. Andrews, 
St. Bride, 
St. David, 



A List of the Members of the Convention. 



Clergymen. 

Hugh Corrans Boggs. 
John Cameron. 

John Bracken. 
Needier Robinson. 
Alexander Balmain. 

.John Buchanan. 

Samuel S. M'Croskey. 

J. Madison (Bishop and Pr.). 

Armistead Smith. 



Charles Crawford. 
William Cameron. 



James Morris. 



Lay Deputies. 
Henry E. Coleman. 

Alexander M'Rae. 
Reuben Beall. 
Robert Andrews. 
Thomas Friend. 

John Walker. 
William Foushee. 



Dudley Carey. 
John Harris. 
Joseph Carrington. 

David Patterson. 

John Gooch and Richard Bland. 

Charles B. Jones. 

Joshua Grymes. 

Benjamin Temple and Nath.. Burwell, 



CONVENTION OF 1793. 



55 



Parishes. 
St. George (Accomack), 
St. James Northam, 
St. Margaret, 
St. Mariin, 
St. Paul (Hanover), 
St. Stephen, 
St. Thomas, 
South Farnham, 
Southam, 
Washington, 
Westover, 
York Hampton, 



Clergymen. 

Peter Nelson. 

Thomas Andrews. 

Andrew Sim. 
John H. Saunders. 

Seawell Chapin. 
James Henderson. 



On Thursday, the second day of May, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred 
and ninety-three, being the day appointed for 
the meeting of the Convention of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in the commonwealth of Vir- 
ginia, a sufficient number of members to proceed 
on business having convened. 

The Right Rev. Bishop Madison took his 
seat as President of the Convention. 

Robert Andrews took his seat as Secretary 
to the Convention. 

Ordered, That a committee be appointed to 
examine the returns of the sitting members, and 
to report thereon. And a committee was ap- 
pointed of Dr. Bracken, Mr. Balmain, Mr. Fou- 
shee, and Mr. Patterson. 

Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a 
canon concerning vestries and trustees ; a canon 
concerning conventions ; a canon concerning 
presbyteries ; a canon concerning bishops ; a 
canon concerning the ordination of priests and 
deacons, and their duties ; a canon concerning 
the induction of ministers into parishes ; a canon 
concerning offences and the mode of proceeding 
against offending ministers; a canon concerning 
the appointment and duties of a standing com- 
mittee ; a canon concerning the manner of grant- 
ing testimonials to citizens candidates for par- 
ishes ; a canon concerning a treasurer ; and a 
canon rescinding certain ordinances and can- 
ons ; and that Mr. Andrews, Mr. Balmain, Dr. 
M'Croskey, Mr. Walker, Mr. T. Andrews, Mr. 
Foushee, Dr. Bracken, Mr. W. Cameron, Mr. 
Patterson, Mr. Henderson, Mr. Carrington, Mr. 
Sims, Mr. Gatewood, Mr. Boggs, Mr. Drum- 
mond, Mr. Morris, Mr. Jones, Mr. Carter, and Mr. 
Charles B. Jones, prepare and bring in the same. 

Mr. Andrews presented, according to order, 
a canon concerning vestries and trustees ; a can- 
on concerning conventions ; a canon concerning 
presbyteries ; a canon concerning bishops ; a 
canon concerning the ordination of priests and 
deacons, and their duties ; a canon concerning 
the induction of ministers into parishes ; a canon 
concerning offences, and the mode of proceeding 
against offending ministers ; a canon concerning 
the appointment and duties of a standing com- 
mittee ; a canon concerning the manner of grant- 
ing testimonials to citizens candidates for par- 
ishes ; a canon concerning a treasurer ; and a 
canon rescinding certain ordinances and canons ; 
which several canons were received, read a first 
time, and ordered to be read a second time. 

On motion made, the canon concerning ves- 



Lay Deputies. 
Cave Jones and William Drummond. 
Archibald Bryce. 
Samuel Temple. 

William Tinsley 

Thomas Barbour. 
William Gatewood. 

Daniel M'Carty, jun. 
Charles Carter. 
Hugh Nelson. 

tries and trustees, and the other canons before 
the Convention, were read a second lime, and 
ordered to be committed to a committee of the 
whole Convention to-morrow. 

Ordered, That a committee be appointed to 
examine the treasurer's accounts : And a com- 
mittee was appointed of Dr. Bracken, Mr. Bryce, 
Mr. Charles B. Jones, and Mr. Henderson. 

The Convention adjourned until 10 o'clock 
to-morrow morning. 

Friday, May 3. 

Bishop Madison having delivered a charge to 
the clergy at the meeting of Convention this 
morning. 

Resolved, unanimously. That the thanks of 
the Convention be given to the Right Rev. Doc- 
tor Madison, for his very sensible, pious, and 
excellent address delivered this day, and thai he 
be requested to furnish a copy for the press. 
An Address to the Convention of the Protestant 

Episcopal Church in Virginia. By Bishop 

Madison. 

Brethren, — When I determined to send cir- 
cular letters to the different visiters, in order that 
I might, through them, request a general attend- 
ance of the clergy at this Convention, I was 
well aware of the inconveniences to which some 
of the members might be exposed. But, such is 
still the situation of our church, so loudly doth 
it call for the counsels of all its friends, that no 
doubt was left upon my mind but those incon- 
veniences would be cheerfully borne, provided 
our consultations should be productive of bene- 
ficial effects. Whatever may be the result, 
whether we shall be enabled to devise any plan 
or propose any measures which may tend to that 
end, so ardently to be supplicated, still, it is surely 
a solemn duty imposed upon all of us, to endeav- 
our to promote the prosperity of our Zion by 
all those prudent means which our profession 
will justify. This is most likely to be effected 
by the combined wisdom and experience of the 
whole body of the clergy. It is not then to be 
wondered at, that I should be anxious to see all 
the faithful pastors of our church here assem- 
bled, and that I should earnestly entreat them, 
in particular, seriously to consult, to digest, and 
bring forward, for the consideration of the Con- 
vention, whatever may appear most likely to pro- 
mote the interest of religion, and that church of 
which we arc the ministers. 

I trust that the good effects of our late minis- 
terial exertions are generally felt and acknowl* 



56 



CONVENTION OF 1793. 



edged ; and that our affairs, under the blessing 
of Providence, begin to assume somewhat a 
more pleasing aspect. Several valuable minis- 
ters have been sent forth, men from whose 
piety and labours we may anticipate the happi- 
est effects ; our congregations seem more atten- 
tive to their religious concerns, and, I ardently 
hope, are gradually advancing to a greater de- 
gree of Christian perfection. Still, however, 
our exertions must be unabated, they must even 
increase ; we must continue to advance if we 
would not become retrograde. Nor can I think 
but that Providence, at this moment, affords the 
most favourable opportunity for prudent and 
strenuous exertions. It has, in some degree, 
checked that fervour of enthusiasm which has 
lately ravaged our church. Our evds have in 
a great measure flowed from that source. But 
there is another enemy which is daily making 
rapid advances, and whose progress, if possible, 
we must arrest ; I mean the demon of irreligion. 
These are the two principal enemies which we 
have to oppose, and which call for all the wis- 
dom and ail the zeal of every sincere minister. 
That the spirit and the resolution necessary 
for the most zealous opposition animates the 
breast of every one present, I do not question ; 
but what are the prudent means which we must 
employ ! what are the weapons ! what is the 
armour we must put on for this Christian war- 
fare] These are inquiries which demand our 
most serious attention. 

I could have vs-ished, upon this occasion, rather 
to have heard the sentiments of my brethren, 
than to have expressed my own. I do not pre- 
tend that I have not reflected, and that often 
and seriously, upon the situation of our church, 
and the means of promoting its prosperity ; but 
I am not so presumptuous as to think, that bet- 
ter may not still be devised ihan those which 
have occurred to me. Perhaps, however, the 
propositions which I think it my duty to lay be- 
fore you, if they do not meet with the approba- 
tion of this assembly, may at least be the means 
of calling forth others, which may operate more 
effectually to the end we all have in view. 

The first that I shall submit to your consider- 
ation, as of great importance in my mind to- 
wards reviving a just sense of religion, and es- 
tablishing a due ministerial influence among our 
parishioners, is, that the different pastors should 
consider it as a duty to visit their parishioners 
at their private dwellings as often in the year 
as may be convenient ; — that, at these visits, 
children should be examined and instructed in 
their catechism ; parents, when necessary, e.x- 
horled to lead Christian lives, and to be attentive 
to the religious instruction of their children ; 
while the well-disposed should be encouraged 
to persevere, and to be steadfast in their attach- 
ment to the church. A practice of the kind 
here recommended would not only be produc- 
tive of the best effects in a religious point of 
view, but it seems also essentially necessary in 
order to form that friendly attachment, or that 
intimate union, between ministers and their 
flocks, which would render their public exhorta- 
tions more eHicacious ; it would aii'oid the best 



opportunity of counteracting the great havoc 
which novel teachers are daily making, and 
which is carried on more successfully, I believe, 
by their private intercourse, than by their public 
harangues ; it would also evince a spirit of dis- 
interestedness and real concern for the religious 
welfare of our flocks, which, while it is the duty 
of a minister uniformly to manifest, would at 
the same time cause him to be more highly re- 
spected and beloved. It appears then that this 
proposition is recommended to us by several 
cogent considerations, whether we attend to the 
proper discharge of the ministerial functions, to 
the influence it will give the different pastors in 
their congregations, or to the means it would 
afford of counteracting the opponents of the 
church, and of renovating constantly the attach- 
ment of its members. Perhaps in some cases 
such visits would not always be convenient ; 
but I am persuaded that, by the greater part of 
our congregations, they would be justly estima- 
ted, and, I have no doubt, prove highly beneficial 
to the interest of the church. 

A second proposition which I shall make, at>- 
pears also, at this time in particular, of great 
importance to the real interest of our holy re- 
ligion and of our church. 

It is, that the ministers should cause to be 
distributed among their congregations such 
books or pamphlets as would tend to check that 
spirit of proselytism which so strongly distin- 
guishes most sects, by exposing whatever may 
appear erroneous, in a plain and candid manner, 
and at the same time showing the verity aiid 
constant superiority of the principles of our own 
church. The dissemination of pamphlets which 
might have such a tendency, appears particular- 
ly necessary at this time. Every one must have 
observed that there are two kinds of enthusi- 
asts ; the one seems to be composed of men of 
a warm imagination, strong passions, and little 
or no judgment. These lay hold of some fa- 
vourite tenet, which may afford them an oppor- 
tunity of exercising the powers of the imagina- 
tion, and which they make the groundwork upon 
which to erect a sect. The other is composed 
of men more ignorant, but active and indefati- 
gable. They dream dreams and see visions. 
They are favoured with immediate inspiration 
from Heaven ; they soar above the vulgar rules 
of morality, and, sanctifying the means by the 
end, omit nothing to complete their designs. 
How shall we effectually counteract either, but 
by diffusing such pamphlets as shall place those 
truths or principles which are in danger of being 
obscured, in their proper light ! What mischief, 
for instance, have not those wild notions re- 
specting divine illumination, or inspiration, pro- 
duced ! The ordinary means of interpreting 
and explaining Scripture are of no moment, so 
long as the extraordinary can be obtained ; the 
Scriptures are thus warped to sujjport any 
opinion, however contrary to the truth ; our 
flocks are misled, and too often, in consequence, 
abandon their maternal church. These evils 
flow from the want of information. Place the 
truth in its proper light ; let it shine forth in 
every man's house, from plain but judicious 



CONVENTION OF 1793. 



57 



pamj)hlets, and it will soon illuminate the mind. 
Again, it is an opinion which has become too 
prevalent, that a Christian may, consistently 
with his profession, change his sect as often as 
he pleases, or as often as caprice may direct ; 
and that the ordinances of Christ may be ad- 
ministered by any one who shall assume the 
ministerial office. Such opinions not only nurse 
the spirit of disunion among Christians, whose 
fatal eHecis to genuine religion I need not here 
mention, but subvert the fundamental principles 
of a Christian church. It is time to evince to 
the people committed to our charge the error 
and the dangerous tendency of such sentiments, 
and to show the duty and the necessity of ad- 
hering to those institutions which Christ and his 
apostles established.* 

I would i)ropose that the clergy now assem- 
bled specify such pamphlets as shall appear 
most useful for doctrinal information ; that a 
sutficient number of copies be obtained for the 
congregations generally ; that the respective 
ministers be supplied in proportion to the extent 



* In a late charge by the Bishop of Norwich, a 
prelate distinguished for his learning and his piety, 
speaking of the constitution and use of the church 
of Christ, he makes some observations which de- 
serve the serious attention of all Christians. " Sal- 
vation," says he, "is a gift of grace ; that is, it 
is a free gift, to which we have no natural claim. 
It is not to be conceived within ourselves, but to 
be received, in consequence of our Christian call- 
ing, from God himself, through the means of his 
ordinances. These can no man administer to ef- 
fect, but by God's own appointment ; at first by 
his immediate appointment, and afterward by 
succession and derivation from thence to the end 
of the world. Without this rule we are open to 
imposture, and can be sure of nothing ; we cannot 
be sure that our ministry is effective, and that our 
sacraments are realities. We are very sensible 
the spirit of division will never admit this doc- 
trine ; yet the spirit of charity must never part 
with it. Writers and teachers who make it a 
point to give no offence, treat these things very 
tenderly ; but he who, in certain cases, gives men 
no offence, will for that reason give them no in- 
struction. Light itself is painful to weak eyes ; 
but delightful to them when grown stronger, and 
reconciled to it with use; and he who was instru- 
mental in bringing them to a more perfect state 
of vision, though less acceptable at first, may yet, 
for his real kindness, be more cordially thanked 
afterward, than if he had made the ease and safe- 
ty of his own person the measure of his duty." 

In the same paragraph he further observes, 
" We are informed that the liberties taken of late 
years against the ministry of the church, have ter- 
minated in an attempt to begin a spurious epis- 
copacy, or an episcopacy without succession, in 
America ; a particular account of the affair has 
been published in a Life of Mr. John Wesley, and 
the case appears to have been as reported. Mr. 
Wesley, when questioned about this fact in his 
lifetime, did not deny it, but pleaded necessity to 
justify the measure (see Memoirs of the Rev. John 
Wesley, by John Ilampson); a fatal precedent, if 
it should be followed. For if a presbyter can con- 
secrate a bishop, we admit that a man may confer 
a power of which he is not himself possessed; 
instead of ' the less being blessed of the greater,' 
the ' greater is blessed of the less,' and the order of 
aU things inverted." 



of their cures ; and that they distribute them to 
the people, charging them only with the first 
cost. 

It is true, that sermons should occasionally be 
delivered upon such doctrinal and institutional 
topics as may appear most necessary for the in- 
formation of congregations ; they would, no 
doubt, when conducted without reflections upon 
particular sects, have a good effect for the mo- 
ment. But to produce that which shall be per- 
manent, the same doctrine must be submitted 
to private consideration and reiterated perusal. 

Nor should our attention be confined to 
pam[)hlets which respect merely the doctrines 
or the institutions of our church. Devotional 
tracts, such as would inspire and keep alive the 
spirit of a warm but rational piety, are greatly 
wanted. Let then such of this nature also be 
dispersed, as the ministry may approve and rec- 
ommend to their congregations. They would 
not only be thus called to active piety, but se- 
cured against the impressions which the appear- 
ance of greater devotion and zeal in other sects 
must always make upon the minds of the truly 
religious. Many educated in the bosom of our 
church desert it, not solely from a conviction of 
errors in doctrine, but because the great bulk of 
its members seem indifferent to religious exer- 
cises. Another society is sought for, in which 
the pious are countenanced and stimulated by 
reciprocal example. Why can we not introduce 
an equal attention to their religious duties 
among the members of our own church, a con- 
duct equally guarded and pious! It must be 
done, or we shall have only the semblance of 
religion among us. We have approached too 
nearly to that verge already. Let us then en- 
deavour to disseminate valuable devotional trea- 
tises, and by all the means in our power recom- 
mend and encourage, exhort and enforce, atten- 
tion to them. 

A third proposition I have to make is, that 
we should endeavour to introduce family prayers 
among the members of our church ; nothing, 
we are persuaded, tends more to keep up a 
sense of religion in the minds of men, than a 
serious and constant performance of this neces- 
sary duty. But it is more neglected in the 
families who profess themselves to be of our 
church, than in any other whatever. I would 
therefore beseech you, with earnestness, to ex- 
hort every housekeeper in your parishes, both 
privately and publicly, to worship God daily in 
their families. Among the poorer class, books 
with proper forms should be distributed gratis, 
or at as low a price as possible. I would not 
propose that the clergy should be burdened with 
this expense, but that the vestries should supply 
such as the ministers may recommend. If also, 
on particular days, as Sundays, when there may 
be no public service in our church sufficiently 
convenient, families could be persuaded to in- 
troduce their devotions with singing of psalms 
or hymns, the practice would effectually revive 
psalmody in our churches. Unless it originate 
or prevail in families, our congregations will 
never be brought to join generally in that essen- 
tial and beautiful part of public worship. It is 



58 



CONVENTION OF 1793. 



this circumstance which, in point of psalmody, 
gives to the dissenting congregations such an 
advantage over those of our church. 

If the duty which I have mentioned could be 
brought into general practice, and I cannot 
doubt but the well-disposed might be easily led 
to the constant performance of it, the happiest 
change in our religious atfairs would be the im- 
mediate consequence ; the change would be 
most important in a religious point of view, 
which is ever the first consideration, and it 
would also make an impression most favourable 
to our church in the mmds of all. 

4th. I have only one more proposition to 
make ; which is, that we should all consider the 
interests of the church as a common cause, 
which we are bound to support by every consid- 
eration the most sacred. The ministers, in par- 
ticular, should ever hold themselves related to 
each other by a truly fraternal connexion. A 
general cause unites them ; but this union 
should be cherished ; it should be a principle of 
action; it should animate the whole body, and 
render the concerns of one the concerns of ihe 
whole. But this principle, that it may be pro- 
ductive of the beneficial effects we desire, sup- 
poses necessarily the utmost purity in the order 
to which we belong. It is essentially necessary, 
then, that the preservation of the credit and 
reputation of our order should be the constant 
object of every minister. That confidence in 
each other which should distinguish our society, 
that disinterested love for the brotherhood, that 
respect and estimation which it should have in 
our own eyes, as well as those of the world, re- 
quire, that every one should consider himself as 
deeply interested in the conduct of every cler- 
gyman. Without an entire purity, we cannot 
have confidence ; without confidence, we cannot 
act as one firm, united body, whose interests 
and views are the same ; in short, as a phalanx, 
whose strength depends upon the integrity of 
all its parts. Without this union, this entire 
consolidation of views and interests, success, as 
a Christian sect, cannot be expected. Observe 
what strength and firmness those sects are gain- 
ing, by their prudent regulations of this kind, 
whose views are certainly not friendly to the 
prosperity of our church. To maintain even 
the ground we now possess, we must adopt 
measures equally prudent ; but to advance, to 
recover a part of what we have lost, our system 
must not only be wise and prudent, but it must 
be pursued with a uniformity, with an undevi- 
ating regularity, with a firmness and a constan- 
cy, which no events can shake. It is time to 
unite " the wisdom of the serpent with the in- 
nocence of the dove." And it is fortunate that 
these measures, which expediency may seem to 
suggest, or particularly to require, are also sug- 
gested by duty. 

The promotion of true religion is our primary 
duty; but, split as the Christian world is into par- 
ties, we have also the interests of a sect to pro- 
mote, in order to perform that primary duty. 
For this purpose, we must have not only our 
external, but internal regulations ; we must have 
a line of conduct delineated, which, though it 



will not admit of canonical injunction, still 
should be systematically pursued by every min- 
ister. The force of a uniform systematic con- 
duct upon the human mind, in every instance, is 
almost irresistible. It carries individuals di- 
rectly, or by the shortest route, to the object at 
which they aim ; but when wisely conceived by 
a body of men, they are rendered compact and 
strong; their progress towards the attainment 
of their end is constantly accelerated : but with- 
out a system, a sect becomes a heap of sand, 
unconnected and disunited, ready to be drifted 
or blown about in any direction, by the first 
wind which assails them. 

Thus, my brethren, I have laid before you, as 
briefly as I could, such observations as it ap- 
peared to me were not unworthy of your atten- 
tion : of that, however, you will judge. Their 
object is to promote that holy religion whose 
ministers we are, by reviving a spirit of true 
piety, and by invigorating that attachment to 
our church, which, through the want of proper 
information, I fear has been too much relaxed 
among most of our congregations. But let 
those means which have been proposed be 
adopted with a zeal becoming the greatest of all 
objects, the salvation of souls ; or let any others, 
which the wisdom of this assembly may prefer, 
be adopted and pursued in the manner they 
ought, and I doubt not, with the assistance of 
divine grace, but that success will reward our 
labours. Like the rebuilders of Jerusalem after 
the captivity, we must, in the language of the 
Prophet, " every one, with o?ie of his hands, 
work in the building ; with the other, hold a 
weapon." With one hand we must build up 
our people in the doctrine of piety and the 
apostolic institutions of our church, while, with 
the other, we must resist that spirit of prosely- 
tism which is so unworthy of the followers of 
Christ, but which will otherwise demolish as 
fast as we build. In short, be it our duty in all 
things "to show ourselves approved unto God, 
as workmen that need not to be ashamed, rightly 
dividing the word of truth," " taking heed to 
the ministry, which we have received in the 
Lord, that we fulfil it." 

Another proposition, which I confess I had 
much at heart, I should have laid before this 
Convention ; but its fate has, I fear, been already 
determined ; I mean, an invitation to all sincere 
Christians to unite with us in forming one 
church, and in abolishing those dissensions 
which are so contrary to our profession. There 
is no one here present but must cordially wish 
for such a union, provided it did not require a 
sacrifice of those points which are deemed es- 
sentials by our church ; from them we have not 
the power to retreat. But in such matters as 
arc subject to human alteration, if, by a candid 
discussion, they could be found capable of being 
so modified as to remove the objections of any 
sect of Christians who may be actuated by the 
same catholic spirit, and thereby effect a union, 
in that case, we should surely have reason to 
rejoice, not only in the event, but also in being 
the first to set an example to Christians which 
it is the duty of all to follow ; and in convincing 



CONVENTION OF 1793. 



59 



them that there is infinitely more religion in not 
contending, than in those things about which 
they contend. There appear, however, so 
many difficulties, so many obstacles to this 
great work, in the opinion of those whose judg- 
ment I much respect, that I do not mean to 
take up your time by making a direct proposi- 
tion upon it. But if any of the members here 
present should be acquainted with circumstan- 
ces which may justify a conclusion that those 
apparent difficulties may be removed, or that 
the end mentioned can be effected by any means 
which have occurred to them, consistently with 
the fundamental principles of our own church, 
I doubt not but this (llonvention would gladly 
hear both the one and the other. 

You see, respected lay brethren, with what 
difficulty the pastoral office is surrounded. 
You see the weight of that burden we have to 
support. But you see also that we are not dis- 
mayed, but anxious to encounter those difficul- 
ties, or support that burden, with a fortitude 
and a faithfulness proportionate to their magni- 
tude. It must be remembered, however, that 
our success, next to the divine blessing, depends 
upon the zealous assistance which the most re- 
spectable lay members of the church in each 
parish shall afford. Much indeed depends upon 
your example ; upon the influence which the real 
concern you discover for the prosperity of the 
church must have upon the minds of the people 
in general. Are you constant and exemplary in 
your attendance upon divine worship 1 Are you 
particularly observant of that excellent mode of 
worship which our church has adopted ? Do you 
refrain from countenancing those teachers, the 
validity of whose ministry the church does not 
admit ] Do you evince an earnest zeal for the 
prosperity of our Zion \ The example will be, 
and, I am happy to say, is already, felt and fol- 
lowed, wherever it is fortunately held forth to 
public view. 

Let me exhort you, brethren, be emulous in 
setting such an example in your respective par- 
ishes. Your pastors tremble at their insuffi- 
ciency for their momentous undertaking. Be it 
yours to lessen the burden of the ministerial 
functions, by offices of affection, of kindness, and 
respect. Be it yours ever to say, " If I forget 
thee, O Zion, let my right hand forget her cun- 
ning ; if I do not remember thee, let my tongue 
cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I prefer not 
Zion above my chief joy." 

Bishop Madison reported the state of the 
churches visited by him since the last Conven- 
tion, and also laid before the Convention the 
reports made to him by sundry visiters, which 
reports were read, and ordered to lie on the table. 

Dr. Bracken, from the committee appointed 
to examine the returns of the sitting members, 
reported. That the committee had, according to 
order, examined the same, and found that the 
returns from the following parishes, viz., An- 
trim, Berkeley, Bristol, Bromfield, Bruton, Dale, 
Frederick, Fredericksville, Henrico, Hungars, 
James City, Kingston, King William, Lexing- 
ton, Littleton, Manchester, Nottoway, St. An- 



drews, St. Bride, St. David, St. George (Acco- 
mack), St. James Northam, St. Margaret, St. 
Martin, St. Paul (Hanover), St. Stephen, St. 
Thomas, South Farnham, Southam, Washing- 
ton, Westover, and York Hampton, were made 
agreeably to the canons. 

Dr. Bracken, from the committee appointed 
to examine the treasurer's accounts, reported, 
That the committee had, according to order, 
examined the same, and found them justly and 
fairly stated, and that there is a balance in his 
hands of 139/. 19*. Id. 

On motion, Resolved, That permission be 
given to the Vestry and Trustees of the Parish 
of St. George (Accomack) to sell the glebe in 
the said parish, for the purpose of purchasing one 
in a more eligible situation, provided it can be 
done to the advantage of this church. 

Ordered, That the treasurer pay to the dep- 
uties to the late General Convention any bal- 
ances which may be due to ihem on account of 
their expenses in attending the said Conven- 
tion. 

The Convention, according to the order of the 
day, resolved itself into a committee of the whole 
Convention on the canons concerning vestries 
and trustees, concerning conventions, &c., &c., 
and after some time spent therein, Mr. President 
resumed the chair, and Mr. Charles B. Jones 
reported, That the committee had, according to 
order, had the said canons under their consider- 
ation, and had made several amendments there- 
to, which were read by the secretary, and agreed 
to by the Convention. 

Ordered, That the said canons, with the amend- 
ments, be engrossed, and read a third time. 

The Convention adjourned until 10 o'clock 
to-morrow morning. 

Saturday, May 4. 

An engrossed canon concerning vestries and 
trustees was read the third time. 

Resolved, That the canon do pass, and that 
the title be, " A canon concerning vestries and 
trustees." 

An engrossed canon concerning conventions 
was read the third time. 

Resolved, That the canon do pass, and that 
the title be, " A canon concerning conventions." 

An engrossed canon concerning presbyteries 
was read the third time. 

Resolved, That the canon do pass, and that 
the title be, " A canon concerning presbyteries." 

An engrossed canon concerning bishops was 
read the third time. 

Resolved, That the canon do pass, and that 
the title be, " A canon concerning bishops." 

An engrossed canon concerning the ordination 
of priests and deacons, and their duties, was read 
a third time. 

Resolved, That the canon do pass, and that 
the title be, " A canon concerning the ordination 
of priests and deacons, and their duties." 

An engrossed canon concerning the induction 
of ministers into parishes was read a third time. 

Resolved, Thai the canon do pass, and that 
the title be, " A canon concerning the induction 
of ministers into parishes." 



60 



COTiVENTION OF 1793. 



An engrossed canon concerning offences, and 
the mode of proceeding against offending min- 
isters, was read the third tune. 

Resolved, That the canon do pass, and that 
the title be, " A canon concerning offences, and 
the mode of proceeding against offending min- 
isters." 

An engrossed canon concerning the appoint- 
ment and duties of a standing committee was 
read the third time. 

Resolved, That the canon do pass, and that 
the title be, " A canon concerning the appoint- 
ment and duties of a standing committee." 

An engrossed canon concerning the manner 
of granting testimonials to citizens candidates 
for parishes was read a third lime. 

Resolved, That the canon be rejected. 
An engrossed canon concerning a treasurer 
was read the third tune. 

Resolved, That the canon do pass, and that 
the title be, " A canon concerning a treasurer." 
An engrossed canon rescinding certain ordi- 
nances and canons was read the third time. 

Resolved, That the canon do pass, and that 
the title be, " A canon rescinding certain ordi- 
nances and canons." 

Resolved, That the Rev. John Buchanan be 
appointed treasurer for the ensuing year. 

Resolved, That it be recommended to the 
several parishes within this commonwealth, to 
send each the sum of fifteen dollars to the Rev. 
Mr. Buchanan, treasurer, on or before the tirst 
Tuesday in May next, to be applied by the Con- 
vention towards compensating the bishop for 
his services, and expenses incurred in his visi- 
tations, and to the general purposes of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church in this state. 

Resolved, That the treasurer be instructed 
to send to the several visiters of districts a list 
of the arrearages due from the parishes within 
their respective districts, and that it be recom- 
mended to the visiters to use their endeavours 
to have the said arrearages collected and trans- 
mitted to the treasurer. 

Resolved, That the visitatorial districts con- 
tinue as at present arranged. 

Resolved, That the Rev. Henry J. Burgess 
be appointed visiter of District No. 2, in the 
room of the Rev. George Gurley, who has re- 
signed his parish; the Rev. Charles Crawford, 
visiter of District No. 7 ; the Rev. Thomas An- 
drews, visiter of District No. 18, in the room of 
the Rev. Thomas Davis, who has removed ; the 
Rev. Robert Buchan, visiter of District No. 19; 
the Rev. I'hoinas Davis, visiter of District No, 
20, in the room of the Rev. Brian Fairfax, re- 
signed ; and the Rev. James Thompson, visiter 
of District No. 21, m the room of the Rev. James 
Craig, infirm. 

Rcfiolved, That Samuel Shield, Robert An- 
drews, Joseph Prentis, Cyrus Gritfin, Joseph 
Hornsby, and James Henderson, be appointed a 
standing committee for the ensuing year. 

On motion. Resolved, That a committee be 
appointed to examine Mr. Overstreet, a candi- 
date for holy orders, and rrport to the Conven- 
tion whether, in their opinions, the dispensing 
with the knowledge of the Latin and Greek lan- 



guages in the examination of the said Mr. Over- 
street before the bishop will be of use to the 
church in this state ; and a committee was ap- 
pointed of Dr. M'Croskey, Dr. Cameron, Mr. 
Henderson, Mr. Balmain, and Mr. Buchanan. 

A resolution of the last General Convention 
having been communicated to the Convention, 
which is in these words, " Resolved, That it be 
made known to the several state Conventions, 
that it is proposed to consider and determine, in 
the next General Convention, on the propriety 
of investing the House of Bishops with a full 
negative upon the proceedings of the other 
house ;" Resolved, unanimously, I'hat the dep- 
uties from the Protestant Episcopal Church m 
this state to the next General Convention, be 
instructed to express the highest disapprobation 
of this Convention respecting the investing of 
the House of Bishops with such negative. 

Resolved, That the said deputies be further 
instructed to use their utmost endeavours to 
obtain a repeal of the sixth additional canon 
passed at the last General Convention. 

Resolved, That the Convention proceed im- 
mediately to the choice of two deputies to attend 
any General Convention of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church in the United States of America, 
which may be called before the next meeting of 
the Convention of the said church in this slate. 
The Convention having accordingly balloted, 
Mr. Crawford and Mr. M'Rae were appointed 
a committee to examine the ballots ; who, having 
withdrawn, alter some time returned into the 
Convention, and reported, That they had ex- 
amined the same, and found the votes unani- 
mously in favour of the Rev. Dr. Sanmel S. 
M'Croskey and Robert Andrews, Esq. 

Resolved, That the sum of one hundred 
pounds be allowed to the Right Rev. Dr. Madi- 
son, for his services as bishop in this church 
for the last year, and for expenses incurred in his 
visitations, and that the treasurer pay the same. 
The president signed the canons passed this 
day. 

Resolved, That 300 copies of the Journal of 
this Convention be printed, under the inspection 
of the Rev. Mr. Buchanan ; and that the bishop's 
charge, the canons passed by this Convention, 
the general constitution, and the general canons, 
be annexed. 

Dr. M'Croskey, from the committee appointed 
to examine Mr. Overstreet, Reported, That the 
committee found they should not have sufficient 
time to examine into the qualifications of Mr. 
Overstreet during the present session of Con- 
vention ; and had therefore instructed him to 
move that they should be discharged from pro- 
ceeding further in the examination, which was 
agreed to. 

Resolved, That the Rev. Dr. M'Croskey be 
requested to preach before the next Convention. 
Resolved, That the next Convention be held 
in the city of Richmond. 

Resolved, That the treasurer pay five dollars 
to the doorkeeper for his services. 
The Convention adjourned. 

Signed, James Madison, President. 
Attest, KoBEBT Andkkws, Secretary. 



CONVENTION OF 1793. 



61 



CANONS FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PROT- 
ESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN THIS STATE. 

1. A Canon concerning Vestries and Trustees. 

1. In each parish within the Commonwealth 
of Virginia, there shall be triennially elected, on 
Easter-Monday, if fair, otherwise on the next 
fair day, at some convenient place (of which 
due notice shall be given), by the freeholders 
and housekeepers who are members of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church within such parish, 
and reg\ilarly contribute to the support of the 
minister, where there is one, and to the com- 
mon exigences of the church within the parish, 
twelve of the most able and discreet men of 
their society, of the above description and quali- 
fications, to be a vestry for such parish, and 
trustees of their property for the three succeed- 
ing years. Intermediate vacancies occasioned 
by death, removal, or resignation, shall be filled 
by the remaining vestrymen and trustees, and 
those so chosen shall have power to act until 
the time of the next general election ; the first 
general election shall be in the year of our Lord 
1796. 

2. Every vestryman shall, before he acts in 
office, subscribe in the vestry-book of his parish 
to be conformable to the doctrine, disciplme. 
and worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
in the United States of America, and to the 
orders and canons of the said church in this 
state. 

3. Each vestry, at their first meeting after 
their election, shall choose two of their members 
to be church-wardens, who shall superintend 
the next general election of vestrymen, judge 
of the qualifications of voters, and certify the 
names of the persons chosen. They shall be 
considered as the acting part of the vestry, and 
shall see that the orders and resolutions of the 
vestry be carried into execution. 

4. In case of the nonattendance of the church- 
wardens at an election of vestrymen and trustees 
in any parish, the minister, or, if he be absent, or 
if there be no minister in the parish, any two 
vestrymen, or if there be no vestrymen present, 
any two reputable inhabitants of the parish, who 
are members of this church, may be appointed 
to superintend the election. 

5. If any person elected a vestryman and 
trustee shall neglect or refuse to attend two 
successive meetings of the body, having had 
due notice thereof, he may be considered as 
having vacated his office ; and the remaining 
vestrymen and trustees may elect into his place 
some other able and discreel man of their so- 
ciety. 

6. In any parishes which have neglected to 
elect vestries and trustees agreeably to the ordi- 
nances heretofore in force, or which shall here- 
after neglect to make such election as herein 
directed, the members of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church within such parishes may, at any 
time afterward within six months, elect vestries 
and trustees in the manner herein directed. 
And in all cases where elections have not been 
held, or shall not be held, at the periods fixed 
for general elections, the foiaier vestries and 



trustees shall continue to act until elections 
shall be held as hereby directed ; or, if no elec- 
tions shall he held, until a future Convention 
shall take some order in the matter. Provided 
nevertheless. That where any parish which had 
failed to elect vestrymen and trustees at the 
time appointed for a general election, hath since 
elected the same, such election is hereby decla- 
red to be valid. 

7. The vestries respectively, with the min- 
ister, where there is one, shall hold and enjoy 
all glebes, lands, churches, books, plate, and 
other property now belonging or hereafter ac- 
cruing to iht Protestant Episcopal Church within 
their respective parishes, as trustees for the 
benefit of the society ; and may improve or 
demise the lands during the vacancy of a min- 
ister, but may not demise lands allowed for the 
minister's habitation or use, without his con- 
sent. They may also use, improve, or dispose 
of all personal properly, and the produce, rents, 
and profits of lands and buildings (not appropri- 
ated for the minister) belonging to this church, 
for the benefit of the society in erecting or re- 
pairing churches, glebe-houses, or otherwise ; 
and may make such rules and orders for mana- 
ging the temporal affairs and concerns of the 
church (not contrary to nor inconsistent with 
the rules and orders of Convention) within their 
respective parishes, as they shall think most 
conducive to its interest and prosperity, and for 
carrying into execution the orders and canons 
for government and discipline, or other spiritual 
purposes, which shall be framed by this or any 
future Convention. They shall have the sole 
power of directing the payment of money be- 
longing to the church within their respective 
parishes, and of appointing a clerk, and such 
other officers of the church as they shall think 
proper, and of removing them when they shall 
see cause. All their proceedings shall be fairly 
entered in a book to be kept for that purpose. 

8. A meeting of the body, to be called by the 
minister, or, if he be absent, or in case of a 
vacancy, by the church-wardens, or by a chuich- 
wardeii, if but one within the parish, or by any 
two vestrymen, if there be no minister or church- 
warden, shall be had as often as may be neces- 
sary. In these meetings, the minister shall have 
a vote equal to, and not greater than, a vestry- 
man, in all questions except for the demise of 
the glebe-lands assigned for his residence or 
use, in which he shall have a negative. Seven 
members shall be sufficient to constitute a meet- 
ing ; and all questions shall be decided by a 
majority of those present. Provided always, 
That in the induction of a minister, and in grant- 
ing testimonials to candidates for orders, the 
votes of six members at least shall be neces- 
sary. 

9. If any minister of a parish shall neglect or 
refuse to call a meeting of the vestry, when re- 
quested by two or more vestrymen, the church- 
wardens, or church-warden, if but one within the 
parish, may call a meeting ; or if there be no 
church-warden, or if the church-wardens or 
church-warden neglect or refuse when requested, 
any two vestrymen may call a meeting. 



CONVENTION OF 1793. 



10. No sale of that kind of property which 
may be considered as principal or stock, belong- 
ing to this church in any parish, shall be made 
without the consent of the Convention. 

2. A Canon concerning Conventions. 

1. There shall be a Convention of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church in this commonwealth 
on the first Tuesday of May in every year, 
in such place as shall be agreed on by the 
Convention. A Convention shall consist of 
two deputies from each parish, of whom the 
minister shall be one, if there be a minisier, and 
the other shall be a layman, to be annually 
chosen by the vestry. If there be no minister 
in any parish, two lay deputies shall be chosen. 
Twenty-five deputies, thus qualified or appointed, 
shall be a Convention ; provided always, that 
if a sufficient number to form a Convention shall 
not attend on any day, any five members then 
assembled shall have power to adjourn. 

2. Special Conventions may be called at other 
times, in the manner hereafter to be provided 
for. 

3. Each member shall, on taking his seat, 
deliver in to the secretary of the Convention a 
testimonial of his being regularly qualified or 
appointed, signed by one or both of the church- 
wardens, or by the clerk of the vestry, of the 
parish he represents. 

4. A person shall preside in Convention with 
the name of president, who shall always be a 
bishop, when there is one present properly con- 
secrated and settled in the church. If there be 
no bishop present, the Convention shall appoint 
some other member of their body president. 
If there be more bishops than one in Conven- 
tion, they shall have the right of presiding in 
rotation. 

5. A secretary shall be appointed by the 
Convention, who shall continue in office during 
good behaviour. He shall keep a record of their 
acts and proceedings, and have the custody of 
the records, so long as he shall continue in 
office. 

6. The Convention shall establish standing 
rules for the preservation of decorum, and the 
orderly management of business. 

7. Conventions shall regulate all the religious 
concerns of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
within this state, its doctrines, discipline, and 
worship, and institute such rules and regulations 
as they may judge necessary for the good gov- 
ernment (hereof, and the same revoke and alter 
at their pleasure. Provided always. That the 
powers hereby declared shall not be so con- 
strued as to affect any powers e.xclusively vest- 
ed in the General Convention of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in the United States of 
America. 

8. All questions before the Convention shall 
be determined by a majority of votes. 

3. A Canon concerning Presbyteries. 

1. The clergy of the several neighbouring 
pari-shes, not less than three nor more than ten, 
shall assemble in presbytery annually, on some 
Monday in April, and at other times, if thereto 



required, at some convenient place in the dis- 
trict. The arrangement of the parishes into 
districts "4"or this purpose shall be by the Con- 
vention, who shall also appoint in each district 
one of the said ministers, to preside at their 
meetings with the title of visiter. The visiter 
shall name the place and time of meeting of the 
presbyteries ; shall annually visit each parish in 
his district ; shall attend to and inspect the morals 
and conduct of the clergy ; shall see that the 
canons and rules of the church are observed and 
practised ; shall admonish and reprove privately 
those clergymen who are negligent or act in an 
unbecoming manner ; and shall report yearly to 
the bishop, if there be one, or if there be no 
bishop, to the next Convention, the state of each 
parish in his district. 

2. It shall be the business of the presbytery, 
when assembled, to instruct and examine candi- 
dates for holy orders within their respective dis- 
tricts, to prescribe to them a thesis or text, and 
give them proper directions for composing a 
discourse on the same. And it shall be the 
duty of every candidate for holy orders to make 
application to the presbytery of his district for 
such instruction and examination. 

4. A Canon concerning Bishops. 

1. Every person to officiate as a bishop of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church in this state, shall 
be nominated to that office by the Convention ; 
and, having received episcopal consecration, 
shall, before he enters on his office, subscribe 
to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and wor- 
ship of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the 
United States of America, and to the orders and 
canons of the said church in this state. 

2. Every bishop, after his promotion to the 
episcopal order, may continue to hold a parish, 
and to do the duty of a parish minister, except 
when he is necessarily employed in the discharge 
of his episcopal office. 

3. No bishop shall inflict any censure on, or 
exercise any power over, the clergy under his 
inspection, other than he is allowed to do by the 
laws and institutions of this church made in 
Convention. 

4. Bishops, after every visitation, shall report 
the state of the church in the different parishes 
to the Convention. 

5. Bishops shall have power to call special 
meetings of the Convention ; to grant testi- 
monials to all persons who are candidates for 
parishes, and who are not citizens of this state ; 
to make such representations on behalf of this 
church, as may from time to time be expedient ; 
to give advice on difficulties propounded to them 
concerning this church during the recess of 
Convention ; and to correspond with any society 
or societies of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
in these United States, on any matters relating 
to this church, which several powers shall be 
exercised only with advice of the standing com- 
mittee. 

6. Bishops shall be amenable to the Conven- 
tion, wlio shall be a court to try them, from 
which there shall be no appeal. On all such 
occasions, a bishop shall preside. 



CONVENTION OF 1793. 



63 



7. All accusations against a bishop, as such, 
shall be on oath ; but no accusation against a 
bishop shall be received unless three respectable 
persons join in the complaint. All complaints 
agamst a bishop shall be lodged with the stand- 
ing committee ; and a copy of the charge or 
charges to be brought against him shall be com- 
municated to him m writing, at least two months 
before the trial. Counsel may be employed on 
both sides, and none but viva voce evidence shall 
be admitted 

8. If a complaint be against a bishop, as a 
minister of a parish, it may be brought as is 
directed in the canon concerning offences and 
the mode of proceeding agamst offending min- 
isters, except that the complaint shall be made 
to the standing committee ; and the subsequent 
proceedings thereon shall be before the Conven- 
tion ; and in like manner, as herein prescribed, 
where the complaint is made against him as a 
bishop. 

9. Disorderly, scandalous, and immoral con- 
duct, neglect of duty, a disregard to the rules 
and canons of the church, or taking a bribe to 
grant either ordination or a recommendation 
for a vacant parish, shall be considered as of- 
fences in a bishop for which he may be brought 
to trial ; and on being convicted of any of these, 
he shall be reproved, suspended, or degraded. 

5. A Canon concerning the Ordination of 
Priests and Deacons, and their Duties. 

1. Every person to be ordained priest or 
deacon by any bishop of this church, shall pro- 
duce such testimonials of his good morals and 
orderly conduct as are required by the canons 
of the General Convention, from the clergy as- 
sembled in the district where he for some time 
last resided, and from the vestry of the parish 
where he last lived, provided there be in the 
district a sufficient number of clergymen to form 
a presbytery ; otherwise a testimonial from the 
minister and vestry of his parish, or from the 
vestry alone, if the parish be vacant, shall be 
deemed sufficient : Provided also. That the can- 
didate is not an inhabitant of some other state, 
and intended to minister in some parish or con- 
gregation in a neighbouring state. No person 
shall be ordained until due examination Had by 
the bishop and tn^o priests. 

2. Ministers shall, at their churches and other 
convenient places, instruct children, and such 
ignorant persons as may require it, in their 
catechism, and the principles of the Christian 
religion as maintained by this church ; pro- 
vided that this duty may be dispensed with 
during the inclement winter months. They 
shall also explain the nature of confirmation, 
and instruct and prepare their parishioners 
for it. 

3. Ministers shall wear a surplice during the 
time of prayer at public worship, in places where 
they are provided ; shall wear gowns when they 
preach, where they conveniently can ; and shall 
at all times wear apparel suitable to the gravity 
of their profession. 

4. Ministers may encourage people to as- 
semble together in email societies at convenient 



times for their edification, and may visit, super- 
intend, and instruct such societies at their meet- 
ings ; provided they shall not do it to the en- 
couragement of idleness, or to the injury of pri- 
vate families. 

5. Ministers officiating in this church, whether 
bishops, priests, or deacons, shall preach once 
at least on every Lord's day, and at other stated 
seasons, unless prevented by some sufficient 
cause. They may, at their discretion, preach 
also at other times, when opportunities shall 
offer of edifying the church. Bishops and priests 
shall adniinisLer the sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper at least four times in the year at each 
church or place of worship in their respective 
parishes, and shall visit the sick when called 
on for that purpose. Deacons as well as priests 
shall baptize ; and may solemnize marriages, 
and assist in administering the sacrament of the 
Lord's Supper, but they shall not consecrate 
the elements. 

6. A Canon concerning the Induction of Min- 
isters into Parishes. 

1. The right of presentation, or appointing 
ministers to serve in the parishes, shall continue 
in the vestries, and each vestry shall choose its 
own minister. 

2. No minister shall be received into a parish 
who does not first produce to the vestry satis- 
factory testimonials of his morals, conduct, and 
conversation, from the person or persons ap- 
pointed by the Convention to inquire into such 
matters, and grant such testimonials. 

3. No person shall be received into any parish 
within this commonwealth as a minister, unless 
he first produce to the vestry sufficient testi- 
monials of his having been regularly ordained a 
priest or deacon by some Protestant bishop, and 
of having taken the oath of allegiance to this 
commonwealth, and subscribe to be conformable 
to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States 
of America, and to the orders and canons of the 
said church in this state ; nor until he shall have 
entered into a contract in writing with the vestry 
or trustees on behalf of the society within such 
parish, by which it shall be stipulated and de- 
clared, that he holds the appointment subject to 
removal, agreeably to the rules and canons of the 
Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
in this state. Provided, That any person who 
hath been ordained by a bishop of the Church 
of Rome may also be received as a minister, 
who shall produce satisfactory testimonials re- 
specting his ordination, morals, and conduct, 
take the oath, and subscribe as aforesaid. 

4. No minister shall be allowed to hold more 
than one parish at the same time. Neverthe- 
less, a minister may, if called thereto by the 
vestry, preach in a neighbouring parish or par- 
ishes during a vacancy therein ; and may re- 
ceive a compensation for his services, provided 
he has the consent of his own vestry, and does 
not neglect the duties of his parish. 

5. Every minister shall reside within his parish, 
unless a majority of his vestry shall agree to 
dispense with hia residence, and shall at no 



64 



CONVENTION OF 1793. 



time leave it for more than one month without 
the consent of the said vestry. 

6. No person having deacon's orders only 
shall be allowed as such to hold a parish, after 
he hath officiated eighteen months as a deacon, 
and attained the age of twenty-five years. 

7. A Canon concerning Offences, and the mode 
of proceeding against offending Ministers, 

1. Disorderly, scandalous, and immoral con- 
duct, neglect of d\)ty, a disregard to the rules 
and canons of the church, or taking a bribe to 
recommend either for ordmation or a parish, are 
offences for which a minister, whether beneficed 
or not, may be brought to trial. 

2. District courts shall be instituted to ex- 
amine into and decide on complamts exhibited 
against ministers, which courts shall be com- 
posed of one clergyman and one vestryman from 
each parish of the district in which the accused 
minister resides, the parish excepted to which 
the accused minister belongs, or in which he re- 
sides. The appointment of the vestrymen shall 
be by their respective vestries, and by lot. The 
visiter of the district shall preside, unless he be 
the accuser or the accused person ; in either of 
which cases, the oldest clergyman in orders 
shall be the president. Provided nevertheless, 
That where the number of settled clergymen in 
the district be less than two, the president shall 
call for a clergyman from a neighbouring dis- 
trict. And moreover, if, when the court as- 
sembles, the number of vestrymen shall be found 
to exceed the number of clergymen present, so 
many vestrymen shall be withdrawn by lot as 
shall be necessary to equalize the numbers of 
the two orders. 

3 Any number of members not less than 
three, two of whom shall be clergymen, shall be 
sufficient to constitute a court. 

4. Complaints against a minister shall be on 
oath, and directed to the visiter of the district 
in which the accused minister resides ; or, where 
there is no visiter, or where the visiter exhibits 
the complaint, or is the person accused, to a 
member of the presbytery in the said district. 
The visiter, or member of the presbytery, as the 
case may be, shall forthwith appoint a convenient 
time and place for the trial within the parish 
where the accused minister officiates or resides, 
and shall take care that the members who are 
to compose the court may have timely informa- 
tion the.reof The courts shall appoint their 
clerks occasionally for such trials ; and no ves- 
tryman shall sit on the trial of an accused min- 
ister belonging to or residing in the parish to 
which such vestryman belongs. 

5. In every complaint the offence or offences 
shall be slated, and the accused minister shall 
be furnished with a copy of the charges brought 
against him, and with notice of his intended 
trial, at least one month before the trial. 

6. The visiter, or person to whom the com- 
plaint shall be made, shall cite the accused 
minister before the appointed court, which shall, 
unless the person accused is prevented from at- 
tendmg by sickness, proceed to the trial. Vtvd 
■oor.e evidence shall only be admitted, and that 



upon oath ; and counsel may be employed on 
both sides. 

7. If the court shall be of opinion that the ac- 
cused minister is guilty of the charge or charges 
brought against him, or of any of them, they 
shall proceed to pass sentence, which shall be 
none other than reproof or suspension. 

8. In all cases where the court shall be of 
opinion that the offence deserves suspension, 
they shall take the depositions of witnesses, and 
shall without delay report their proceedings and 
the depositions to the bishop ; or, if there be no 
bishop of the church in this state, to the chair- 
man of the standing committee ; and the bishop, 
with the standing committee, or, if there be no 
bishop, the standing committee, or a majority 
of them in either case, shall be; and are hereby 
constituted and appointed a court, in the last 
resort, to try the offender. If, on considering 
the case, they do not acquit him, they shall 
either confirm the sentence of the district court, 
or pass such other sentence as a majority of 
them shall think the offence deserves, which 
shall be either reproof or degradation Pro- 
vided always. That if there be no bishop of this 
church settled in the state, and the offences for 
which any minister may be suspended by a dis- 
trict court shall appear to the standing com- 
mittee to merit the punishment of degradation, 
the standing committee shall not in that case 
pronounce sentence of degradation, but shall 
request the attendance of any bishop of this 
church in a neighbouring state, who shall, on 
the trial and in pronouncing sentence, be vested 
with as full and ample powers as a bishop of 
this church settled in the state would have. 

9. If a minister, while under the sentence 
of suspension, shall nevertheless continue to 
execute the functions of the clerical office, on 
satisfactory proof thereof being made to the 
bishop, or standing committee, if there be no 
bishop, the sentence of degradation shall bo 
passed on him. 

8. A Canon concerning the Appointment and 
Duties of a Standing Committee. 

1. A standing committee, consisting of six 
persons, shall be annually appointed by the Con- 
vention. They shall be considered in office 
from the end of the session of the Convention 
in which they are appointed, and shall continue 
in office until the end of the next annual session 
of Convention. Any four of them shall be a 
sufficient number to do business. 

2. The standing committee shall have power, 
when there is no bishop of this church settled 
in this state, to call meetings of the Convention 
when they shall think them necessary ; to grant 
testimonials to all persons candidates for par- 
ishes, and not citizens of this state, who may 
apply for the same ; to make such representa- 
tions on behalf of the church as may from time 
to time be expedient ; to give advice on diffi- 
culties propounded to them concerning the 
church during the recess of Convention ; to 
correspond with any society or societies of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church in these United 
States, on any matters relating to the church ; 



CONVENTION OF 1794. 



65 



and to do all other things assigned to them by 
the rules and canons of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in the United States of America passed 
in General Convention, or in Convention of the 
said church in this state. 

9. A Canon concerning a Treasurer. 

1. There shall be appointed annually by the 
Convention a treasurer of this church in this state, 
who shall be a man of good character and respon- 
sibility. He shall be removable at the pleasure 
of the Convention ; but, unless so removed, shall 
continue in office until the end of the next annual 
session of a Convention after his appointment. 

2. He shall keep a fair and exact account of 
all moneys received and paid away by him ; and 
shall lay before the Convention annually, or 
oftener if thereto required, a full and accurate 
statement of his accounts. He shall pay no 



money but by direction of the Convention, and 
shall in all things relating to his oiVice conform 
to their orders and regulations. For his services 
he shall be allowed a compensation of five per 
cent, on all moneys received by him. 

10. A Canon rescinding certain Ordinances and 
Canons. 

1. Whereas a general code of canons for the 
regulation and government of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in this state has been framed 
by this present Convention, all ordinances and 
canons in force prior to the meeting of this Con- 
vention shall be, and they are hereby rescinded. 
Provided nevertheless. That nothing in this 
canon shall be construed to affect any rights, 
remedies, forfeitures, or penalties, which have 
accrued, been vested, or incurred, prior to the 
passing of this canon. 



Journal of a Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the State of Virginia, held in the 

City of Richmond, May 6th, 1794. 

A List of the Members of the Convention. 



Parishes. 
Abingdon, 
Bristol, 
Bruton, 

Christ Church (Lancaster), 

Dale, 

Frederick, 

Fredericksville, 

Henrico, 

James City, 

King William, 

Littleton, 

Manchester, 

Martin's Brandon, 

Nottoway, 

St. Andrews, 

St. David, 

St. George (Accomack), 

St. John, 

St. Paul (Hanover), 

York Hampton, 



Clergymen. 
Andrew Syme. 



Needier Robinson. 

Alexander Balmain. 

Matthew Maury. 

John Buchanan. 

James Madison (P. and B.). 



William Cameron. 
John J. Spooner. 
John Cameron. 



Cave Jones. 
James Price. 

James Henderson. 



Lay Deputies. 
Warner Lewis. 
G. K. Taylor. 
Robert Andrews. 
Raleigh W. Downman, 
W. Eustace. 



Reuben Lindsay. 
William Foushee. 
William Browne. 
John Harris. 
James Deane. 
David Patteson. 

Robt. Fitzgerald. 
W. E. Broadnax. 
Joseph Gwatney. 

Drury Ragsdale. 

Thomas Tinsley, John Garland. 

Hugh Nelson. 



• The Rev. Sewall Chapin and Samuel Tyler, Esqrs., from the parish of Westover, arrived on 
the second day too late to take their seats in Convention. 



On Tuesday, the sixth day of May, in the 
year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred 
and ninety -four, being the day appointed for the 
meeting of the Convention of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in the commonwealth of Vir- 
ginia, a sufficient number of members to pro- 
ceed on business having convened. 

The Right Rev. Bishop Madison took his seat 
as President of the Convention. 

Robert Andrews took his seat as Secretary 
of the Convention. 

Ordered, That a committee be appointed to 
examine the returns of the sitting members, and 
to report thereon : And a committee was ap- 
pointed of Mr. Nelson, Mr. Patterson, Rev. Mr. 
J. Cameron, and Rev. Mr. Maury. 

A motion being made by Mr. Nelson, and sec- 
E 



onded by Mr. Patteson, that the Convention 
come to this resolution. Resolved, That a com- 
mittee be appointed to inquire into the proceed- 
ings of all the Conventions of the church within 
the state, since the repeal of the law incorpora- 
ting the church, as well as into the proceedings 
of the several General Conventions, and to make 
report, with their opinion thereon, to this Con- 
vention, the resolution was read by the sec- 
retary. 

Ordered, That the said resolution lie on the 
table. 

Ordered, That a committee be appointed to 
examine the treasurer's accounts : And a com- 
mittee was appointed of Mr. Patteson, Rev. Mr. 
W. Cameron, Rev, Mr. Balmain, and Mr. Lind- 
say. 



ee 



CONVENTION OF 1794. 



A letter from the Rev. John H. Saunders, ad- 
dressed to the president, was laid before the 
Convention and read ; whereupon the Conven- 
tion came to the following resolution : — 

Resolved, That the mode of communicating, 
by letter, sentiments on subjects proper for the 
discussion of the Convention, is irregular in in- 
dividual members of the church. 

Papers from the parishes of James City and 
Blisland, recommending Mr. Benjamin Brown 
for holy orders, and that examination in the 
Latin and Greek languages might be dispensed 
with, were read, and ordered to be referred to a 
committee, consisting of Mr. Brown, Rev. Mr. 
J. Cameron, Rev. Mr. Maury, Mr. Garland, and 
Rev. Mr. Henderson. 

Papers from Accomack parish to the same 
effect in favour of Mr. Isaac Foster were read, 
and ordered to be referred to the same commit- 
tee. 

The Convention adjourned until 10 o'clock 
to-morrow morning. 

Wednesday, May 7. 

Mr. Brown, from the committee appointed to 
examine the papers relative to Mr. Benjamin 
Brown and Mr. Isaac Foster, reported, That the 
committee had, according to order, examined 
the same, <T,nd had come to a resolution thereon, 
which was read, and agreed to by two thirds of 
the Convention, as follows : — 

Resolved, That it is the opinion of this com- 
mittee, that the dispensing with the knowledge 
of the Greek and Latin languages in the exam- 
ination of the said Mr. Benjamin Brown and 
Mr. Isaac Foster for holy orders, may be of ad- 
vantage to the Episcopal Church in this state. 

Mr. Nelson, from the committee appointed to 
examine the returns of the sitting members, re- 
ported. That the committee had, according to 
order, examined the same, and had found that 
the returns from the following parishes, viz., 
Abingdon, Bristol, Bruton, Christ Church (Lan- 
caster), Dale, Frederick, Fredericksvillc, Hen- 
rico, James City, King William, Littleton, Man- 
chester, Martin's Brandon, Nottoway, St. An- 
drews, St. David, St. George (Accomack), St. 
John, St. Paul (Hanover), and York Hampton, 
were made agreeably to the canon. 

Resolved, That the Convention proceed by 
ballot to the choice of two deputies to attend 
any General Convention of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church in the United States of America, 
which may ineci before the next meeting of the 
Convention of the said church in this state. 

The Convention having accordingly balloted, 
Mr. Foushee and Mr. Henderson were appoint- 
ed a committee to examine the ballots ; who, 
having withdrawn, after some time returned into 
the Convention, and reported. That they had 
found a majority of the votes of the w^hole Con- 
vf-niion in favour of the Rev. Dr. Samuel S. 
M'Croskey and Robert Andrews, Esqrs. 

Resolved, unanimously. That the deputies to 
th« next General Convention from the Protest- 
ant Episcopal Church in this etate be instructed 
to express the highest disapprobation of this 
Convention, respecting the investing of the 



House of Bishops with a fall negative upon tha 
proceedings of the House of Deputies. 

Resolved, That the said deputies be also in- 
structed to use their endeavours to have the 
sixth additional canon, passed at the last Gen- 
eral Convention, so amended as to vest the war- 
dens, vestrymen, or trustees of any parish, with 
the power of granting permission to any clergy- 
man of this church to preach or read prayers in 
the churches under their care, whenever they 
shall be of opinion that the interests of religion 
will be thereby promoted. 

Bishop Madison reported the state of the 
churches visited by him since the last Conven- 
tion. 

Mr. Balmain, from the committee appointed 
to examine the treasurer's accounts, reported, 
That the committee had, according to order, ex- 
amined the same, and found them justly and 
fairly stated ; and that there is in his hands a 
balance of 87/. 18s. l^d. 

Resolved, That the treasurer's accounts do 
pass. 

Resolved, That the Rev. John Buchanan be 
appointed treasurer for the ensuing year. 

Resolved, That Samuel Shield, Robert An- 
drews, Joseph Prentis, Cyrus Griffin, Joseph 
Hornsby, and James Henderson, be appointed a 
standing committee for the ensuing year. 

Resolved, That it be recommended to the 
several parishes within this commonwealth to 
send each the sum of fifteen dollars to the 
Rev. Mr. Buchanan, treasurer, in the city of 
Richmond, on or before the first Tuesday in 
May next, to be applied by the Convention to- 
wards compensating the bishop for his services, 
and expenses incurred in his visitations, and to 
the general purposes of the Protestant Episco- 
pal Church in this state. 

Resolved, That the visiters of districts be 
requested to use their endeavours to have the 
arrearages due from the parishes within their 
respective districts collected and transmitted to 
the treasurer. 

Resolved, That the sum of one hundred 
pounds be allowed to the Right Rev. Dr. Mad- 
ison for his services as bishop of this church for 
the last year, and for expenses incurred in hia 
visitations, and that the treasurer pay the same. 

Resolved, That the inhabitants of Tillotson 
parish qualified by the canons to vote for ves- 
trymen and trustees, be empowered to elect the 
same on any day before the first day of January, 
1795, in the manner prescribed by the canon 
concerning vestries and trustees. 

Resolved, That the Rev. Needier Robinson 
be appointed visiter of District No. 3, in the 
room of the Rev. John Cameron, who has left 
the said district. 

Resolved, That the Rev. Needier Robinson 
be requested to preach before the next Conven- 
tion. 

Resolved, That the standing committee be 
directed to address the members of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church in the different par- 
ishes of this slate, through their ministers, or 
vestries, where there are no ministers, on the 
situation of the church, and the nficespitv oJ 



CONVENTION OF 1796. 



67 



complying with the requisitions of the Conven- 
tion. 

Resolved, That the next Convention meet in 
the city of Richmond. 

Resolved, That the treasurer pay twenty shil- 
lings to the doorkeeper for his services. 



Resolved, That 200 copies of the Journal of 
this Convention be printed, under the inspection 
of the Rev. Mr. Buchanan. 
The Convention adjourned. 

Signed, James Madison, President. 
Attest, KoBT. Andrews, Secretary. 



CONVENTION OF 1795. 
A copy of the journals of this Convention could not be found. 



Journal of a Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Virginia, held at the Capitol in 
the City of Richmond, May M, 1796. 



Parishes. 
Amherst, 
Antrim, 
Berkeley, 
Blisland, 
Botetourt, 
Bristol, 
Bruton, 

Christ Church, 
Cumberland, 
Dale, 

Ehzabeth City, 
Frederick, 
Fredericksville, 

Hanover, 

Hardy, 
Henrico, 

Hungars, 
James City, 
Manchester, 

St. Andrew, 

St. Asaph, 

St David, 

St. George (Ac), 
St. George (Sp.), 
St. James Northam, 
St. Mark, 
St. Martin (Ha.), 

St. Paul (do.), 

St. Stephen (K. & Q.), 

St. Stephen (Nor.), 

Shelburne, 

Southam, 

Ware, 

Washington, 

Weslover, 

Wicomico, 

York Hampton, 



List of the Members of the 
Clergymen. 
William Crawford. 
Alexander Hay. 
Hugh C. Boggs. 

Samuel Gray. 
Andrew Syme. 
John Bracken. 
Daniel M-Naughton. 
John Cameron. 
Needier Robinson. 
John Jones Spooner. 
Alexander Balmain. 
Matthew Maury. 



John H. Reynolds. 
John Buchanan. 
Sam. S. M'Croskey. 
Jas. Madison (B. & P.). 



George Spierin. 

Cave Jones. 
James Stephenson. 

John Woodville. 
Peter Nelson. 



John Seward. 
Alex. M'Farland. 

Elkanah Talley. 
John O'Donnell. 
Sewall Chapin. 



Convention. 

Lay Deputies. 
Joseph Shelton. 

Edward Herndon. 
Burwell Bassett. 

Alexander M'Rae. 
Robt. Andrews. 
James Ball. 
Christopher Robertson. 



James Wood. 
John Walker. 
Aaron Thornley, 
: Peter Jett. 



Nathaniel Darby. 
John Ambler. 
David Patteson. 

< John Dunn, 

\ Charles B. Jones. 

John \^'oolfolk, 
( Thomas Fox, 
\ \^'illiam Dabney. 

John Reid. 

William Lovell. 

Archibald Bryce. 

Robt. Slaughter, jr. 

< Thomas Tinsley, 
\ John Rowe. 

( Thomas Hill, 
\ William Fleet. 
Abraham Beacham. 

Brett Randolph. 
William Hall. 
Daniel M'Carty. 

( Hopkins Hardy, 
\ Tho. Hurst. 
Thomas Griffin. 



Ox Tuesday, the third day of May, in 
the year of our Lord one thousand seven 
hundred and ninety-six, being the day ap- 
pointed for the annual meeting of the Con- 
vention of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
in the State of Virginia, a sufficient nuni- 

E2 



ber of members to proceed on business having 
convened. 

The Right Reverend Bishop Madison took 
his .seat as President of the Convention. 

Robert Andrews took his seat as Secretary 
to the Convention. 



68 



CONVENTION OF 1706. 



A committee, consisting of the Rev. Dr. 
Cameron, Mr. Wood, Mr. Balmain, and Mr. 
Jones, was appointed to examine and report on 
the returns of the sitting members. 

A committee, consistmgof Dr. Cameron, Mr. 
Patteson, Mr. IBalmain, and Mr. Ambler, was 
appointed to examine the treasurer's accounts, 
and to report thereon. 

Dr. M'Croskey and Mr. Andrews, deputies 
to the last General Convention, reported the 
proceedings of that body. 

The accounts of the deputies to the last 
General Convention, for their expenses, were 
laid before ihe Convention, and referred to the 
committee appointed to examme the treasurer's 
accounts. 

Dr. Cameron, from the committee appointed 
to examine the returns of the sitting members, 
which had been directed to withdraw for the 
purpose of examining the same, reported. That 
they had found the returns from the following 
parishes, viz., Amherst, Antrim, Berkeley, 
Biisland, Botetourt, Bristol, Bruton, Christ 
Church (Lancaster), Cumberland, Dale, Eliza- 
beth City, Frederick, Fredericksville, Hanover, 
Hardy, Henrico, Hungars, James City, Man- 
chester, St. Andrew, St. Asaph, St. David, St. 
George (Accomack), St. George (Spotsylva- 
nia), St. James Northam, St. Mark, St. Martin, 
St. Paul (Hanover), St. Stephen (King and 
Queen), St. Stephen (Northumberland), Shel- 
burne, Southam, Ware, Washington, Wicomi- 
co, Westover, and York Hampton, were made 
agreeably to the canon. 

The Convention resolved itself into a com- 
mittee of the whole Convention on the state of 
the church ; and after some time spent therein, 
the committee rose, and Mr. Wood reported 
progress, and asked for leave to sit again ; 
whereon it was agreed that the Convention 
will to-morrow resolve itself into a committee 
of the whole Convention on the state of the 
church. 

The Convention adjourned to 10 o'clock to- 
morrow. 

Wednesday, May 4. 

The Rev. Mr. Needier Robinson, according 
to appointment, preached before the Conven- 
tion. 

The Right Rev. Bishop Madison laid before 
the Convention a report of the visitation of 
parishes made by him since the last Convention, 
which was read. 

The Convention resolved itself into a com- 
mittee of the whole Convention on the state of 
the church ; and after some time spent therein, 
the committee rose, and Mr. Wood reported. 
That the committee had taken under their con- 
sideration the state of the church, and had 
come to some resolutions thereon, which were 
agreed to, as follows : — 

Resolved, unanimously, That it is the opin- 
ion of this committee, that, by various acts of 
the Legislature of Virginia, the property of the 
church, formerly established by law, has been 
confirmed to the Protestant Episcopal Church 
in this state ; and that, therefore, any legisla- 



tive interference without the consent of the said 
church, by which its right to the said property 
would be affected, would be a violation of the 
rights of private property, and of one of the 
fundamental principles of the present civil gov- 
ernment. 

Resolved, That the Convention ought to 
present a memorial to the ensuing General As- 
sembly, stating the grounds of the right of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church to the glebes, 
chin-ches, and other properly now held by the 
said church in this state. 

Mr. Bassett, Dr. Cameron, Mr. Andrews, Dr. 
M'Croskey, Mr. Walker, and Mr. Maury, were 
appointed a conunittee to draw the said me- 
morial. 

A petition was presented from the parish of 
Cumberland, praying for leave to sell a part of 
their glebe, for the purpose of raising money to 
repair the buildings of the said glebe ; whereon it 
was resolved, That the trustees of the parish of 
Cumberland have the consent of this Conven- 
tion to sell that part of the glebe-land of the 
said parish which lies on the north side of the 
Reedy Creek road, containing about one hun- 
dred acres, for the purpose of raising money to 
repair the buildings on the said glebe. 

On motion. Resolved, That the vestry or 
trustees of St. Andrew's parish have the con- 
sent of the Convention to sell the glebe of the 
said parish for the purpose of purchasing a more 
convenient one ; provided it shall be done with- 
in twelve months, and it shall be the opinion of 
the trustees that it can be done with advantage 
to the Protestant Episcopal Church. 

Mr. Spierin, Mr. Spooner, and Mr. Nelson, 
obtained leave of absence for the remainder of 
the session. 

The Convention adjourned to 10 o'clock to- 
morrow. 

Thursday, May 5. 

Dr. Cameron, from the committee appointed 
to examine the treasurer's accounts, reported, 
That they had examined the same, and found 
them fairly and truly stated, and that there was 
in his hands a balance of two hundred and fifty- 
two pounds six shillings and a halfpenny ; and 
that there was due to the Rev. Dr. Samuel 
S. M'Croskey the sum of thirty pounds, and 
to Robert Andrews the sum of twenty-three 
pounds eighteen shillings and eleven pence, for 
expenses incurred by them respectively in at- 
tending the last General Convention of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church, as deputies from 
the said church in this state ; whereon. 

Resolved, That the treasurer's accounts do 
pass. 

Resolved, That the treasurer pay to the 
Rev. Dr. M'Croskey and Robert Andrews the 
sums reported to be due to them. 

Resolved, That the treasurer pay to Bishop 
Madison twenty-five pounds for his expenses in 
attending the last General Convention ; and 
also two hundred pounds for his services, and 
the expenses incurred in his visitations in the 
years 1794 and 1795. 

Resolved, That it be recommended to each 



CONVENTION OF 1797. 



69 



of the parishes within this commonwealth to 
send to the Rev. Mr. Buchanan, treasurer, in 
the city of Ivichmond, on or before the first 
Tuesday in May next, tlie sum of fifteen dol- 
lars, to be applied by the Convention towards 
compensating the bishop for his services, and 
expenses incurred in his visitations, and to the 
general purposes of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in this state. 

Mr. Bassett, from the committee appointed to 
prepare a draught of a memorial to bo presented 
to the next General Assembly, on the subject 
of the property of the church, reported the 
same, which was read and agreed to ; and it 
was resolved. That it should be signed by the 
president on behalf of the Convention, and that 
he should have it presented to the next General 
Assembly, should he find it expedient. 

Resolved, That John Blair, Robert Andrews, 
Joseph Preniis, Cyrus Griffin, James Hender- 
son, and Champion Travis, be appointed a 
standing committee for the ensuing year. 

Resolved, That the Rev. John Buchanan, of 
the city of Richmond, be appointed treasurer 
for the ensuing year. 

The Rev. Dr. John Cameron was appointed 
visiter of District No. 4, in the room of the 
Rev. Mr. Craig, deceased. 

The Rev. Mr. James Whitehead was appoint- 
ed visiter of District No. 1, in the room of the 
Rev. Mr. Taylor, deceased. 

The Rev. Mr. John Seward was appointed 
visiter of District No. 18, in the room of the 
Rev. Mr. Andrews, deceased. 

Resolved, That the Rev. Mr. Cave Jones be 
requested to preach before the next Convention ; 
and also, that the Rev. Mr. Daniel M'Naughton 
be requested to prepare a sermon for the next 
Convention. 

The Convention having proceeded by ballot 
to the choice of deputies to represent the church 



in this state in any General Convention of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church in the United 
States which might meet before the next meet- 
ing of the Convention of the said church in this 
slate, on examining the ballots it appeared that 
the Rev. Samuel S. M'Croskey, D. D., was 
chosen clerical deputy, and Robert Andrews, 
lay deputy. 

Resolved, That the next Convention of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church in this state meet 
in the city of Richmond. 

Resolved, That the Rev. Mr. Needier Robin- 
son be requested to furnish for the press a copy 
of his pious and judicious sermon preached yes- 
terday. 

Resolved, That 200 copies of the Journal of 
this Convention be piablished, and under the di- 
rection of the Rev. Mr. Buchanan ; and that the 
sennon preached by Mr. Robinson, and the 
canons passed at the last General Convention, 
be annexed thereto. 

Dr. Cameron presented a canon respecting 
ministers holding military commissions, which, 
after the customary readings, was passed, as 
follows : — 

A canon to prohibit clergymen of the Protest- 
ant Episcopal Church from holding military 
commissions, and for other purposes. 

No clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal 
Church in the State of Virginia shall be per- 
mitted to hold a military commission : nor shall 
a clergyman leaving one parish be inducted into 
another, unless he shall produce to the vestry of 
such parish testimonials of his good conduct from 
the vestry of the parish where he last resided. 

Resolved, That the treasurer pay five dollars 
to the person who has acted as doorkeeper to 
the Convention for his services. 

The Convention adjourned. 

James Madison, President. 

Attest, Robert Andrews, Secretary. 



Journal of a Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Virginia, held at the Capitol in 
the City of Richmond, December 6th, 1797. 
A List of the Members of the Convention. 
Clergymen. 



Parishes. 
Abingdon, 
Amherst, 
Berkeley, 
Bhsland, 
Bristol, 
Brunswick, 
Bruton, 

Christ Church (Lancaster), 
Cumberland, 
Dale, 
St. David, 
Elizabeth River, 
Elizabeth City, 
Fairfax, 
Frederick, 
Fredericksville, 
Henrico, 
Hungars, 
James City, 
King William, 



William Crawford. 
Hugh C. Boggs. 

Andrew Syme. 

John Bracken. 
Daniel M'Naughton. 
John Cameron. 
Needier Robinson. 
Thomas Hughes. 
James Whitehead. 
John J. Spooner. 



John Buchanan. 

Right Rev. Dr. Madison. 



Lay Deputies. 
John Page. 
Hudson Martin. 

Burwell Bassett. 
George K. Taylor. 
Wm. Alexander. 
Robert Andrews. 
Martin Sherman. 
Christ. Robertson. 
Thomas Boiling. 
Benj. Temple. 
Thos. Matthews. 
Wilson M. Cary. 
Ludwcll Lee. 
Governor Wood. 
John Walker. 
Edw. Carrington. 
John Stratton. 

Thomas Harrjp. 



70 



CONVENTION OF 1797. 



Parishes. 
Leeds, 
Littleton, 
Lunenburg, 
St. Margaret, 
St. Martin, 
St. Mark, 

St. James Xortbam, 
Overwharton, 
St. Paul's (Hanover), 
Shelburne, 
Southam, 
St. Thomas, 
Ware, 
Westover, 
Wicomico, 
York Hampton, 
St. Stephen, 
St. John, 
Middlesex, 
Botetourt, 



Clergymen. 



Young. 



Peter Nelson. 
John Woodville. 



Alex. Macfarlane. 

Charles O'Niel. 

Sewall Chapin. 

James Henderson. 

John Dunn. 
Henry Heffernan. 



Lay Deputies. 
William Chilton. 
Alexander Brend, James Deane. 
Richard Barnes. 
Daniel Coleman, Richard Wiatt. 

John Jameson. 

Archibald Bryce. 

John Moncure. 

Thomas Tinsley, John Bowie 

Francis Peyton. 

Edm. Randolph. 

William Moore. 

Peter B. Whitmg. 

Thomas Gaskins, Thomas Hurst. 

Thomas Griffin. 

William Claughton. 

James Ruffin. 

Ralph Wormeley. 

James Brackenridge. 



A SUFFICIENT number of clerical and lay 
deputies having met to form a Convention, 

Robert Andrews, Esq., resigned his office of 
secretary to the Convention, and the Rev. John 
Bracken, D. D., was appointed in his room. 

The Right Rev. Dr. Madison, Pr., then ad- 
dressed the Convention on the subject and oc- 
casion of their present meeting. 

Ordered, That it be referred to a select com- 
mittee to take into consideration the matters 
therein contained, and to report thereon, as also 
the mode which in their opinion will be most 
proper for showing the sense of this Conven- 
tion upon the subject of the sale of church prop- 
erty, submitted by the last session of the Gen- 
eral Assembly to the consideration of the peo- 
ple : And a committee was appointed for that 
purpose of Mr. Lee, Governor Wood, Mr. An- 
drews, Mr. George K. Taylor, Dr. Cameron, Dr. 
Buchanan, the Rev. Mr. Spooner, and the Rev. 
Mr. Dunn. 

The opinions of Bushrod Washington, Ed- 
mund Randolph, and John Wickham, Esqrs. 
upon the subji^ct aforementioned, were presented 
by the president to the Convention, and being 
read, were ordered to be referred to the said 
committee. 

On motion, Ordered, That the Rev. James 
Whitehead, Mr. John Walker, the Rev. Hugh 
C. Boggs, and Mr. Thomas Tinsley, be appoint- 
ed a committee to exaini)ie and make report on 
the certificates of appointment of the sitting 
members. 

Oti motion, Ordered, That a committee be ap- 
pointed to examine and report on the treasurer's 
accounts : And a committee was appointed of 
Mr. Andrews, Dr. Cameron, Mr. Griffin, and the 
Rev. Mr. Spofiuer, for that purpose. 

The Convention then adjourned until to-mor- 
row, 1 o'clock. 

TllORSDAY, DECEMnER?, 1797. 

Mr. Andrews, from the committee appointed 
to examine tlie treasurer's accoimts, reported, 
That they had, according to order, examined 
the same, and foimd l^em lo be fairly and justly 



stated ; and that the balance remaining in his 
hands due to the church, this 7th day of Decem- 
ber, 1797, is 53!. 2s. \d. 

Resolved, That the treasurer's accounts do 
pass. 

The Rev. Mr. Whitehead, from the commit- 
tee appointed to examine the certificates of ap- 
pointment of the sitting members, reported, 
That they had, according to order, examined 
the same, and found the certificates of appoint- 
ment from the following parishes to be made 
agreeably to the canons ; viz. — 

Abingdon, Amherst, Berkeley, Blisland, Bris- 
tol, Brunswick, Bruton, Christ Church (Lan- 
caster), Cumberland, Dale, St. Davids, Eliza- 
beth River, Elizabeth City, Fairfax, Frederick, 
Fredericksville, Henrico, Hungars, James City, 
King William, Leeds, Littleton, Lunenburg, St. 
Margaret, St. Martin, St. Mark, St. James 
Northam, Overwharton, St. Paul's (Hanover), 
Shelburne, Southam, St. Thomas, Ware, West- 
over, Wicomico, York Hampton, St. Stephen, St. 
John, Middlesex, and Botetourt. 

Mr. Lee, from the committee appointed to 
take into consideration the address of the bishop, 
and to report the mode which, in their opinion, 
would be most proper for showing the sense of 
this Convention upon the subject of the sale of 
church properly, submitted by the last session 
of the General Assembly to the consideration of 
the people, reported. That they had, according 
to order, taken into consideration the matter re- 
ferred to them, and had come to several reso- 
lutions thereon, which, being read, were ordered 
to be committed to a committee of the whole 
Convention. 

The Convention havincr resolved itself into a 
committee of the whole (Mr. Basset in the chair), 
proceeded to take into considnralion tlie afore- 
said resolutions ; and having gone through and 
amended the same, the president resumed the 
chair. 

Mr. Bassett, from the committee of the whole, 
reported. That they had, according to order, 
gone through and considered the resolutions to 
tiiem referred, and had amended tJie same, which, 



CONVENTION OF 1797. 



n 



with the amenchnents, being read and debated, 
} aragraph by paragraph, were agreed to. 

The Convention then adjourned until to-mor- 
row, 1 o'clock. 

Friday, December 8, 1797. 

After prayers, and a sermon suitable to the 
occasion, delivered by the Rev. Mr. M'Naugh- 
lon in the general court room, the Convention 
met according to adjournment. 

On motion. Resolved, That the report of the 
select committee on the president's address, &c., 
as amended and agreed to yesterday, be recon- 
sidered. 

The Convention proceeded to reconsider the 
resolutions aforesaid, and having farther amend- 
ed the same, agreed thereto, as follows : — 

Resolved, That the following are the grounds 
of the title of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
to the glebes, churches, and other property in 
their possession. 

1. That the said glebes, churches, &c., wore 
vested, prior to the revolution, in the then ex- 
isting church, by public authority or private 
donations. 

2. That the Protestant Episcopal Church is 
the same in its rights of property with the church 
which existed prior to the revolution. 

3. That these rights cannot be wrested from 
the Protestant Episcopal Church upon any prin- 
ciple which will not impair all other rights of 
private property which was acquired before the 
revolution. 

4. That if succour need be drawn to these 
rights, existing (as they do) independently of 
the will of the legislature, they have been 
solemnly recognised by an act of the General 
Assembly — made at the session succeeding that 
which framed the bill of rights and constitu- 
tion — by the same body which composed the 
Convention, and became, under tiie constitu- 
tion, the House of Delegates ; and at the in- 
stance of those who were opposed to the said 
church. 

5. That no subsequent act of the General 
Assembly, relative to the Protestant Episcopal 
Church, ought, or can be so interpreted, as to 
confer on the General Assembly any authority to 
assume, confiscate, or appropriate, without the 
will of the said church, the whole, or any part, of 
the property aforesaid. 

6. That the bill of rights and constitution 
forbid the intrusion of the General Assembly 
into questions concerning the right of property ; 
and more especially when the object of such 
intrusion is to apply that property to public 
uses to which the whole commonwealth, and 
not a selected and marked portion only of its 
citizens, ought to contribute. 

7. Resolved, That a committee of five per- 
sons be appointed by ballot, whose duty it shall 
be to attend the discussion of the memorial of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church, the consider- 
ation whereof was postponed to the present ses- 
sion of the General Assembly, and to make to 
the General Assembly such other representa- 
tions, by memorial or otherwise, in behalf of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church, as to them shall 



seem necessary, and shall be conformable with 
the spirit of the foregoing resolutions. 

8. Resolved, That from the firm persuasion 
which this Convention entertains of the validity 
of the rights of property asserted in the forego- 
ing resolutions, it be an instruction to the said 
committee to propose to the General Assembly, 
that the controversy concerning them be sub- 
mitted to the decision of a proper tribunal of 
justice. 

9. Resolved, That this Convention will cause 
to be defrayed all reasonable and necessary ex- 
penses in carrying into execution the foregoing 
resolutions. 

The house proceeded to ballot for five per- 
sons to form a committee whose duty it should 
be to attend the discussion of the memorial of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church, &.c. ; and the 
Rev. Mr. Henderson and Mr. Griffin being ap- 
pointed to examine the ballots, proceeded to 
examine the same, and reported. That a majori- 
ty of the whole house was in favour of Robert 
Andrews, Ludwell Lee, George K. Taylor, 
John Page, and James Brackenridge, Esqrs. 

Resolved, therefore. That they are appointed 
a committee for the purpose aforesaid. 

Resolved, unanimously. That the Rev. John 
Buchanan, D. D., be continued treasurer for 
the ensuing year, and to the end of the next 
Convention. 

Resolved, That John Blair, Robert Andrews, 
Cyrus Gnthn, Joseph Prentis, Esqrs., the Rev. 
James Henderson, and Champion Travis, Esqrs., 
be continued members of the standing commit- 
tee, and that they remain in office to the end of 
the next Convention. 

On motion. Resolved, That it be an instruc- 
tion to the standing committee to make inquiry 
concerning any church property which may 
have been alienated since the commencement 
of the revolution, and to report the situation 
and circumstances to the next session of the 
Convention. 

Resolved, nemine contradicente, That Robert 
Andrews, Esq., and the Rev. John Bracken, 
D. D., do rcjjresent the Protestant Episcopal 
Church of this state in the next General Con- 
vention. 

On motion, Resolved, That the deputies to 
the next General Convention be instructed to 
agree to the following addition to the second 
article of the general constitution, in the ninth 
line after the word constitvtion, viz., "But if 
the church shall not be represented in both or- 
ders in a majority of the states, then the vote 
shall be given by states without regard to 
orders." 

Ordered, That the Rev. Mr. Smith be ap- 
pointed a visiter in the room of James M. Fonr 
taine, D. D., deceased. 

Ordered, That the Rev. Mr. Dunn be re- 
quested to preach before the next Convention. 

Resolved, That it be recommended to the 
several parishes within this state, to forward the 
annual contribution of 15 dollars, for the use of 
the church, to John Buchanan, D. D., treasurer, 
and that such as are in arrears do immediately 
send forward their arrearages. 



72 



CONVENTION OF 1799. 



Ordered, That 300 copies of the Journal of 
this Convention be printed, under the direction 
of Dr. Buchanan, and distributed among the 
several parishes. 

Resolved, unanimously, That the thanks of 
this Convention be given to Bushrod Washing- 
ton, Edmund Randolph, and John Wickham, 
Esqrs., for their opinion, delivered in to this 
house by the president, on the subject of the 
sale of glebes and other church property. 

Ordered, That the next Convention do meet 
in the city of Richmond. 

Ordered, That the treasurer pay to the door- 
keeper the sum of six dollars. 

The Convention then adjourned. 

Signed, James Madison, President. 

Attest John Bracken, Secretary. 

Richmond, Dec. 5, 1797. 
Sir, — We have endeavoured to fulfil the re- 
quest of yourself and the standing committee, 
by the best examination in our power, of the 
tenure under which the Protestant Episcopal 
Church claim the glebes, churches, &c. Know- 
ing that you possess every document and fact 
to which we have access, and that we may be 
therefore permitted to excuse ourselves, by the 



multiplicity of our late professional labours, 
from a detail of the reasons which govern us, 
we shall offer to you the conclusions only which 
we have formed. These are, 

1st. That the Protestant Episcopal Church 
is the exclusive owner of those glebes, churches, 
&c. 

2d. That so far is the title of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church from being impaired (as has 
been suggested) by our bill of rights, that they 
do not clash on any sound construction ; but 
that title stands upon the same grounds with 
the rights of private property, which have been 
recognised and secured by the principles of the 
revolution and by the constitution. 

3d. And that any question concerning the 
right of property in those glebes, churches, &c., 
being of a judicial nature, must constitutionally 
be decided by the judiciary, and the judiciary 
alone. 

We have the honour, sir, to be, with great 
respect, your most obedient servants, 

BusHROD Washington, 
Edmund Randolph, 
John Wickham. 

The Right Rev. James Madison, Bishop "of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church in Virginia. 



CONVENTION OF 1798. 
The Journal of this year has not been obtained. 



Journal of a ConveiUimi of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Virginia, held at the Capitol in 
the City of Richmond, May 7lh, 1799. 



A List of the Members of the Convention. 



Parishes. 
Bristol, 
Blisland, 
Bruton, 

Christ Church (Lan.), 
Cople, 
Cumberland, 
Dale, 

Fredericksville, 
Hampshire, 
Henrico, 
Hungars, 
James City, 
Littleton, 
Lunenburg, 
Manchester 
St. David, 
St. George (Accom.), 

St. John (King William), 

St. Martin, 

St. Paul (Hanover), 

St. Peter, 

St. Stephen, 

Washington, 

Westover, 

Wicomico, 

York Hampton, 



Clergymen. 



Daniel M'Naughton. 
James Elliott. 
John Cameron. 
Needier Robinson. 
Matthew Maury. 

John Buchanan. 

James Madison (B. and Pr.). 
James Dickinson. 
George Young. 
John Dunn. 
Thomas Hughes. 
Cave Jones. 



Peter Nelson. 

Benjamin Brown. 
John Seward. 



Scwall Chapin. 



Lay Deputies. 
John Grammer. 
Henry Brown. 
Robert Andrews. 
Wm. Montague. 

Peter Eppes, jun. 

John Walker. 
John H. Reynolds. 
William Berkeley. 
Nathaniel Wilkins. 
John Ambler. 
Alexander Trent. 

David Patteson. 
Thomas Fox. 

Ed. P. Chamberlayne, 
John Lord. 
Carter Berkeley. 
Thomas Tinsley. 



William Thompson. 

; William Davenport, 
1 Thomas Harvey. 
Gavin L. Corbin. 



CONVENTION OF 1799. 



73 



Tuesday, May 7, 1799. 

A sDFFiciENT number of clerical and lay depu- 
ties having met to form a Convention, 

Tlie Right Reverend Dr. Madison took the 
chair as president ex-officio. Robert Andrews 
was appointed to act as secretary in the absence 
of the Rev. Dr. Bracken. 

Ordered, That the Rev. Dr. John Cameron, 
Rev. Mr. Jones, Mr. Patteson, and Mr. Am- 
bler, be appointed a committee to examine and 
report immediately on the testimonials of the 
members. 

The committee, accordingly, having with- 
drawn and examined the testimonials, reported. 
That the testimonials from the following parishes 
were made agreeably to tlie canons, viz. : — 

Bristol, Blisland, Bruton, Christ Church 
(Lancaster), Cople, Cumberland, Dale, Freder- 
icksville, Hampshire, Henrico, Hungars, James 
City, Littleton, Lunenburg, Manchester, St. 
David, St. George (Accomack), St. John (King 
William), St. Martin, St. Paul (Hanover), St. 
Peter, St. Stephen, Washington, Westover, 
Wicomico, and York Hampton. 

Ordered, That Bishop Madison and Mr. Am- 
bler be appointed a committee to consult gentle- 
men of eminence in the law respecting the 
method of defending, before the judiciary, the 
right of the church to glebes directed to be sold 
by act of Assembly. 

Ordered, That the Rev. Mr. Maury and Mr. 
W. Berkeley be appointed a committee to ex- 
amine the treasurer's accounts, and report 
thereon. 

Resolved, That one hundred and fifty copies 
of the canons be printed and distributed among 
the parishes within this state ; and that the bish- 
op be requested to accompany them with an ad- 
dress to the members of the church, enjoining a 
strict observance of the same, and of the sev- 
eral duties particularly required of them at this 
important crisis. 

Resolved, That the Convention do attend di- 
vine service in the assembly room at 10 o'clock 
to-morrow morning. 

The Convention adjourned till 10 o'clock to- 
morrow morning. 

W^EDNESDAY, M.AY 8, 1799. 

The Convention met according to adjourn- 
ment. 

Divine service was performed, and, agreeably 
to an order of the last Convention, a sermon was 
delivered by the Rev. Mr. Dunn, which was 
well adapted to the occasion. 

Mr. Ambler, from the committee appointed to 
consult gentlemen of eminence in the law re- 
specting the method of defending, before the ju- 
diciary, the right of the church to glebes, &c., 
made a report, which was read, and ordered to 
be filed by the secretary among the papers of 
the Convention. 

Resolved, That the Convention grant per- 
mission to the vestry and trustees of Bristol par- 
ish to sell and dispose of the present glebe- 
land of the parish, if they shall think proper, 
and to vest the proceeds thereof in such prop- 



erty as may be thought more beneficial and 
profitable to the parish and the incumbent. 

Mr. Maury, from the committee appointed to 
examine the treasurer's accounts, reported. That 
the committee had, according to order, examined 
the same, that they had found them fairly and 
justly stated, and that the balance remaining in 
his hands this day is ninety-four pounds seven 
shillings and ten pence. 

Resolved, That the treasurer's accounts do 
pass. 

Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a 
canon to amend the canon entitled " A canon 
concerning offences, and the mode of proceeding 
against offending ministers :" and the Rev. Mr. 
Maury and the Rev. Mr. Jones were appointed 
to bring in the same. 

Resolved, That the Rev. Doctor John Bu- 
chanan be appointed treasurer for the ensuing 
year. 

Resolved, That John Blair, Robert Andrews, 
Cyrus Griffin, Joseph Prcntis, James Hender- 
son, and Champion Travis, be appointed a stand- 
ing committee for the ensuing year. 

Mr. Maury, from the committee appointed, re- 
ported a canon to amend the canon concerning 
offences, and the mode of proceeding against of- 
fending ministers, which was read the first time, 
and ordered to be read a second time. 

Resolved, That the bishop and standing com- 
mittee be authorized to employ counsel to defend 
the right of the church to its property, whenever 
it shall appear to them most proper to bring the 
question before the judiciary, and to draw on 
the treasurer for any money wliich may be ne- 
cessary for the said purpose. 

Resolved, That two clerical and two lay dep- 
uties be appointed to attend the next General 
Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church, 
and also any General Convention of the said 
church which shall convene before the next 
meeting of the Convention of the church in this 
state. 

The Convention then proceeded by ballot to 
the appointment of deputies to the nest Gen- 
eral Convention, &c. ; when a majority of votes 
appeared in favour of the Rev. Dr. John Brack- 
en and the Rev. Dr. Samuel S. M'Croskey as 
clerical deputies, and of Robert Andrews and 
John Walker, Esqrs., as lay deputies. 

The canon to amend the canon concerning 
offences, and the mode of proceeding against 
offending ministers, was read a second time, 
amended, and ordered to be fairly transcribed 
for a third reading. 

Resolved, That it be an instruction to the 
deputies appointed to attend the next General 
Convention, to submit to the said Convention an 
amendment to the sixth general canon, so far as 
it requires testimonials of piety and good moral 
conduct for three years. 

The canon to amend the canon concerning 
offences, and the mode of proceeding against of- 
fending ministers, was read the third lime and 
passed. 

Ordered, That the treasurer pay to Bishop 
Madison the sum of one hundred and sixty dol- 
lars. 



74 



CONVENTION OF 1799. 



Resolved, That one hundred and fifty copies 
of the Journal be printed under the direction of 
the Rev. Dr. Buchanan. 

Resolved, That it be recommended to the 
several parishes within this state, to forward the 
annual contribution of 15 dollars, for the use of 
the church, to the Rev. Dr. John Buchanan, 
treasurer, and that such as are in arrears do im- 
mediately send forward their arrearages. 

Resolved, That the next Convention do meet 
in the city of Richmond. 

Ordered, That the treasurer pay four dollars 
to the doorkeeper. 

Resolved, I'hat the Rev. Mr. Cave Jones be 
requested to preach before the next Convention. 

Resolved, That it be enjoined on the clergy 
throughout the state, to officiate in the vacant 
parishes in their neighbourhoods as frequently 
as the duties of their own parishes will permit. 

The Convention then adjourned. 

Attest, James Madison, President. 

Robert Andrews, ) 

for John Bracken, Secretary. J 



Canons — for the government of the Prot- 
estant episcopal church in this state. 
1. A Canon concerning Vestries and Trustees. 

1. In each parish within the Commonwealth 
of Virginia, there shall be trionnially elected, on 
Easter-Monday, if fair, otherwise on the next 
fair day, at some convenient place (of which due 
notice shall be given), by the freeholders and 
housekeepers who are members of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church within such parish, and 
regularly contribute to the support of the min- 
ister, where there is one, and to the common exi- 
gences of the church within the parish, twelve of 
the most able and discreet men of their socie- 
ty, of the above description and qualifications, to 
be a vestry for such parish, and trustees of their 
property for the three succeeding years. In- 
termediate vacancies, occasioned by death, re- 
moval, or resignation, shall be filled by the re- 
maining vestrymen and trustees, and those so 
chosen shall have power to act until the time of 
the next general election ; the first general elec- 
tion shall be in the year of our Lord 1796. 

2. Every vestryman shall, before he acts in 
office, subscribe in the vestry-book of his pari.sh 
to be conformable to the doctrine, discipline, and 
worship of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 
the United States of America, and to the or- 
ders and canons of the said church m this state. 

3. Each vestry, at their first meeting after 
their election, shall choose two of their members 
to be church-wardens, who shall superintend the 
next general election of vestrymen, judge of the 
qualifications of voters, and certify the names 
of the persons chosen. They shall be consid- 
ered as the acting part of the vestry, and shall 
see that the orders and resolutions of the vestry 
be carried into execution. 

4. In case of the nonattendance of thecluirch- 
wardens at an election of vestrymen and trus- 
tees in any parish, the minister, or, if he be ab- 
s.ent, or if there be no minister in the parish, 
any two vestrymen, or if there be no vestrymen 



present, any two reputable inhabitants of the 
parish, who are members of this church, may be 
appointed to superintend the election. 

5. If any person elected a vestryman and 
trustee shall neglect or refuse to attend two 
successive meetings of the body, having had due 
notice thereof, he may be considered as having 
vacated his office ; and the remaining vestrymen 
and trustees may elect into his place some other 
able and discreet man of their society. 

6. In any parishes which have neglected to 
elect vestries and trustees agreeably to the or- 
dinances heretofore in force, or which shall here- 
after neglect to make such election as herein 
directed, the members of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church within such parishes may, at any 
time afterward within six months, elect vestries 
and trustees in the manner herein directed. 
And in all cases where elections have not been 
held, or shall not be held at the periods fixed 
for general elections, the former vestries and 
trustees shall continue to act until elections 
shall be held as hereby directed, or, if no elec- 
tions shall be held, until a future Convention 
shall take some order in the matter. Provided 
nevertheless. That where any parish which had 
failed to elect vestrymen and trustees at the 
time appointed for a general election, hath since 
elected the same, such election is hereby de- 
clared to be valid. 

7. The vestries respectively, with the minis- 
ter, where there is one, shall hold and enjoy all 
glebes, lands, churches, books, plate, and other 
property now belonging or hereafter accruing to 
the Protestant Episcopal Church within their 
respective parishes, as trustees for the benefit 
of the society ; and may improve or demise the 
lands during the vacancy of a minister, but may 
not demise lands allowed for the minister's hab- 
itation or use without his consent. They may 
also use imjirove, or dispose of all personal 
property, and the produce, rents, and profits of 
lands and buildings (not appropriated for the min- 
ister) belonging to this church, for the benefit 
of the society, in erecting or repairing churches, 
glebe-houses, or otherwise, and may make such 
rules and orders for managing the temporal affairs 
and concerns of the church (not contrary to nor 
inconsistent with the rules and orders of Con- 
vention) within their respective parishes, as they 
shall think most conducive to its interest and 
prosperity, and for carrying into execution the 
orders and canons for government and disci- 
|)linc or other spiritual purposes, which shall be 
framed by this or any future Convention. They 
shall have the sole power of directing the pay- 
numi of money belonging to the church within 
their respective parishes, and of appointing a 
clerk and such other officers of the church as 
they shall think proper, and of removing them 
when tliey shall see cause. All their proceed- 
ings shall be fairly entered in a book to be kept 
for that purpose. 

8. A meeting of the body, to be called by the 
minister, or, if he be absent, or in case of vacan- 
cy, by the church-wardens, or by a church-war- 
den, if but one within the parish, or by any two 
vestrymen, if there be no minister or church- 



CONVENTION OF 1799. 



75 



warden, shall be had as often as may be neces- 
sary. In these meetings the minister shall have 
a vote equal to, and not greater than a vestry- 
man, in all q\iestions except for the demise of 
the glebe-lands assigned for his residence or use, 
in wiiich lie shall h;ive a negative. Seven mem- 
bers shall be suliicient to constitute a meeting ; 
and all questions shall be decided by a majority 
of those present. Provided always, That m the 
induction of a minister, and in granting testimo- 
nials to candidates for orders, the votes of six 
members at least shall be necessary. 

9. If any minister of a parish shall neglect or 
refuse to call a meeting of the vestry when re- 
quested by two or more vestrymen, the church- 
wardens, or church-warden, if but one within 
the parish, may call a meeting ; or if there be 
no church-warden, or if the church-wardens or 
church-warden neglect or refuse when request- 
ed, any two vestrymen may call a meeting. 

10. No sale of that kind of property which 
may be considered as principal or stock, belong- 
ing to this church in any parish, shall be made 
without the consent of the Convention. 

2. A Canon concerning Conventions. 

1. There shall be a Convention of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church in this commonwealth 
on the first Tuesday of May in every year, in 
such place as shall be agreed on by the Con- 
vention. A Convention shall consist of two dep- 
uties from each parish, of whom the minister 
shall be one, if there be a minister, and the other 
shall be a layman, to be annually chosen by the 
vestry. If there be no minister in any parish, two 
lay deputies shall be chosen. Twenty-five depu- 
ties, thus qualified or appointed, shall be a Con- 
vention : Provided always. That if a sufficient 
number to form a Convention shall not attend on 
any day, anv five members then assembled shall 
have power to adjourn. 

2. Special Conventions may be called at other 
tinies in the manner hereafter to be provided for. 

3. Each member shall, on taking his seat, de- 
liver in to the secretary of the Convention a 
testimonial of his being regularly qualified or 
appointed, signed by one or both of the church- 
wardens, or by the clerk of the vestry of the 
parish he represents. 

4. A person shall preside in Convention with 
the name of president, who shall always be a 
bishop, when there is one present properly con- 
secrated ami settled in the church. If there be 
no bishop present, the Convention shall appoint 
some other member of their body president. If 
there be more bishops than one in Convention, 
they shall have the right of presiding in rotation. 

5. A secretary shall be appointed by the Con- 
vention, who shall continue in office during good 
behaviour. He shall keep a record of their acts 
and proceedings, and have the custody of the 
records so long as he shall continue in office. 

6. The Convention shall establish standing 
rules for the preservation of decorum, and the 
orderly management of business. 

7. Conventions shall regulate all the religious 
concerns of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
within this state, its doctrines, discipline, and 



worship, and institute such rules and regulations 
as they niay judge necessary for the good gov- 
ernment thereof, and the same revoke and alter 
at their pleasure. Provided always, That the 
powers hereby declared shall not be so con- 
strued as to atl'ect any powers ejsclusively vested 
in the General Convention of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in the United States of 
America. 

8. All questions before the Convention shall 
be determined by a majority of votes. 

3. A Canon concerning Presbyteries. 

1. The clergy of the several neighbouring par- 
ishes, not less than three nor more than ten, shall 
assemble in presbytery annually on some Mon- 
day in April, and at other times, if thereto re- 
quired, at some convenient place in the district. 
The arrangement of the parishes into districts 
for this purpose shall be by the Convention, 
who shall also appoint in each district one of 
the said ministers, to preside at their meetings 
with the title of visiter. The visiter shall name 
the place and time of meeting of the presby- 
teries ; shall annually visit each parish in his 
district ; shall attend to and inspect the morals 
and conduct of the clergy ; shall see that the 
canons and rules of the church are observed 
and practised ; shall admonish and reprove pri- 
vately those clergymen who are negligent, or 
act in an unbecoming manner ; and shall report 
yearly to the bishop, if there be one, or, if there 
be no bishop, to the next Convention, the state 
of each parish in his district. 

2. It shall be the business of the presbytery 
when assembled to instruct and examine can- 
didates for holy orders within their respective 
districts, to prescribe to them a thesis or text, 
and give them proper directions for composing 
a discourse on the same. And it shall be the 
duty of every candidate for holy orders, to make 
application to the presbytery of his district for 
such instruction and examination. 

4. A Canon concerning Bishops. 

1. Every person to officiate as a bishop of 
the Protestant Episcopal Church in this state, 
shall be nominated to that office by the Conven- 
tion ; and, having received episcopal consecra- 
tion, shall, before he enters on his office, sub- 
scribe to conform to the doctrine, discipline, and 
worship of the I'rotestant Episcopal Church in 
the United States of America, and to the orders 
and canons of the said church in this state. 

2. Every bishop, after his promotion to the 
episcopal order, may continue to hold a parish, 
and to do the duty of a parish minister, except 
when he is necessarily employed in the dis- 
charge of his episcopal office. 

3. No bishop shall inflict any censure on, or 
exercise any j^tower over, the clergy under his in- 
spection, other than he is allowed to do by the 
laws and institutions of this church made in 
Convention. 

4. Bishops, after every visitation, shall report 
the state of the church in the ditlerent parishes 
to the Convention. 

5. Bishops shall have power to call special 
meetings of the Convention ; to grant testimo- 



76 



CONVENTION OF 1799. 



nials to all persons who are candidates for par- 
ishes, and who are not citizens of this state ; to 
make such representations on behalf of this 
church, as may from time to time be expedient ; 
to give advice on difficultins propounded to them 
concerning this church during the recess of Con- 
vention ; and to correspond with any society or 
societies of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 
these United States on any matters relating to 
this church ; which several powers shall be ex- 
ercised only with advice of the standuig com- 
mittee. 

6. Bishops shall be amenable to the Con- 
vention, who shall be a court to try them, from 
which there shall be no appeal. On all such 
occasions, a bishop shall preside. 

7. All accusations against a bishop, as such, 
shall be on oath ; but no accusation against a 
bishop shall be received unless three respectable 
persons join in the complaint. All complaints 
against a bishop shall be lodged with the stand- 
ing committee, and a copy of the charge or 
charges to be brought against him shall be com- 
municated to him in writing at least two months 
before the trial. Counsel may be employed on 
both sides, and none but vied voce evidence 
shall be admitted. 

8. If a complaint be against a bishop, as a 
minister of a parish, it may be brought as is di- 
rected in the canon concerning offences, and the 
mode of proceeding against offending ministers, 
except that the complaint shall be made to the 
standing committee ; and the subsequent pro- 
ceedings thereon shall be before the Convention, 
and in like manner as herein prescribed, where 
the complaint is made against him as a bishop. 

9. Disorderly, scandalous, and immoral con- 
duct, neglect of duty, a disregard to the rules 
and canons of the church, or taking a bribe to 
grant either ordination or a recommendation for 
a vacant parish, shall be considered as offences 
in a bishop, for which he may be brought to 
trial ; and, on being convicted of any of these, 
he shall be reproved, suspended, or degraded. 

5. A Canon concerning the Ordination of 
Priests and Deacons, and ihcir Duties. 

1. Every person to be ordained priest or dea- 
con by any bishop of this church, shall pro- 
duce such testimonials of his good morals and or- 
derly conduct as are required by the canons of the 
General Convention, from the clergy assembled 
in the district where he for some time last re- 
sided, and from the vestry of the parish where 
he last lived, provided there be in the district 
a sufficient number of clergymen to form a pres- 
bytery ; otherwise a testimonial from the min- 
ister and vestry of his parish, or from the vestry 
alone, if the parish be vacant, shall be deemed 
sufficient ; provided also that the candidate is 
not an inhabitant of some other state, and in- 
tended to minister in some parish or congrega- 
tion in a neighbouring state. No person shall 
he ordained until due examination had by the 
bishop and two priests. 

2. Ministers shall, at their churches and other 
convenient places, instruct children, and such 
ignorant persons as may require it, in their cate- 



chism and the principles of the Christian re- 
ligion as maintained by this church ; provided 
that this duty may be dispensed with during the 
inclement winter months ; they shall also explain 
the nature of confirmation, and instruct and pre- 
pare their parishioners for it. 

3. Ministers shall wear a surplice during the 
time of prayer at public worship, in places 
where they are provided ; shall wear gowns 
when they preach, where they conveniently can ; 
and shall at all times wear apparel suitable to 
the gravity of their profession. 

4. Ministers may encourage people to assem- 
ble together in small societies, at convenient 
times, for their edification, and may visit, super- 
intend, and instruct such societies at their meet- 
ings ; provided they shall not do it to the en- 
couragement of idleness, or to the injury of pri- 
vate families. 

5. Ministers officiating in this church, whether 
bishops, priests, or deacons, shall preach once at 
least on every Lord's day, and at other stated 
seasons, unless prevented by some sufficient 
cause. They may, at their discretion, preach 
also at other times, when opportunities shall 
offer of edifying the church. Bishops and 
priests shall administer the sacrament of the 
Lord's Supper at least four times in the year at 
each church or place of worship in their respec- 
tive parishes, and shall visit the sick when 
called on for that purpose. Deacons, as well 
as priests, shall baptize ; and may solemnize 
marriages, and assist in administering the sacra- 
ment of the Lord's Supper, but they shall not 
consecrate the elements. 

6. A Canon concerning the Induction of Min- 
isters into Parishes. 

1. The right of presentation, or appointing 
ministers to serve in the parishes, shall con- 
tinue in the vestries, and each vestry shall 
choose its own minister. 

2. No minister shall be received into a parish 
who does not first produce to the vestiy satis- 
factory testimonials of his morals, conduct, and 
conversation, from the person or persons ap- 
pointed by the Convention to inquire into such 
matters, and grant such testimonials. 

3. No person shall be received into any parish 
within this commonwealth, as a minister, unless 
he first produce to the vestry sufficient testimo- 
nials of his having been regularly ordained a 
priest or deacon by some Protestant bishop, and 
of having taken the oath of allegiance to this com- 
monipeallh, and subscribe to be conformable to 
the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church of the United 
Slates of America, and to the orders and canons 
of the said church in this state ; nor until he 
shall have entered into a contract in writing 
with the vestry or trustees on behalf of the so- 
ciety within such parish, by which it shall be 
stipulated and declared that he holds the ap- 
pointment, subject to removal, agreeably to the 
rules and canons of the Convention of the Prot- 
estant Episcopal Church in this state. Pro- 
vided, That any person who hath been ordained 
by a bishop of the Church of Rome may also be 



CONVENTION OF 1799. 



77 



received as a minister, who shall produce satis- 
factory teslimoiiials respecting his ordination, 
morals, and conduct, take the oath, and sub- 
scribe as aforesaid. 

4. No minister shall be allowed to hold more 
than one jiarish at the same time. Neverthe- 
less, a minister may, if called thereto by the 
vestry, preach in a neighbouring parish or par- 
ishes during a vacancy therein, and may re- 
ceive a compensation for his services, ])rovided 
he has the consent of his own vestry, and does 
not neglect the duties of his parish. 

5. Every minister shall reside within his 
parish, unless a majority of his vcsiry shall 
agree to dispense with his residence, and shall 
at no time leave it for more than one month, 
without the consent of the said vestry. 

6. No person, having deacon's orders only, 
shall be allowed, as such, to hold a parish, after 
he hath officiated eighteen months as a deacon, 
and attained the age of twenty-five years. 

7. A Canon to amend the canon entitled " A 
canon concerning Offences, and the mode of 
proceedi?ig against Offending Ministers.''^ 

1. Courts shall be instituted to inquire into 
and decide on complaints exhibited against 
ministers ; to compose which courts an equal 
number of clergymen and vestrymen shall be 
appointed, as follows : On the testimony of two 
credible witnesses of the offence of any minis- 
ter, the bishop, with the advice and consent of 
the standing committee, or the standing com- 
mittee, when there is no bishop, shall nominate 
such clergymen as he or they shall think proper, 
in the neighbourhood of the parish in which the 
accused minister resides, and the vestries of 
the parishes of such clergymen shall severally 
appoint one of their own body to act in con- 
junction with their clergymen. The visiter of 
the district, if he be nominated, shall preside, 
unless he be the accuser or the accused person, 
in either of which cases, or in case there be no 
visiter, or the visiter be not nominated, the 
oldest of the clergymen assembled under the 
nornmation shall preside. If, when the court 
assembles, the number of vestrymen shall be 
found to exceed the number of clergymen pres- 
ent, so many vestrymen shall be withdrawn by 
lot as shall be necessary to equalize the num- 
bers of the two orders. And courts thus con- 
stituted shall have the same powers as are vested 
in the courts, directed for the like purposes, by 
the canon entitled " A canon concerning of- 
fences, and the mode of proceeding against of- 
fending ministers ;" and shall proceed in like 
manner, except where it is herein otherwise di- 
rected and provided for. 

2. The bishop, with the advice and consent 
of the standing committee, shall appoint a con- 
venient time and place for the trial, and shall 
take care that the members who are to com- 
pose the court may have timely information 
thereof The courts shall appoint their clerks 
occasionally for such trials ; and no vestryman 
shall sit on the trial of an accused minister be- 
longing to, or residing in, the parish to which 
such vestryman belongs. 



3. Any clergyman who, being nominated and 
called on as above mentioned, shall refuse or 
neglect to attend at the time and place fixed on 
for the purpose of forming the court as afore- 
mentioned, shall be liable to be proceeded 
against in the same manner as other offending 
clergymen. 

4. The bishop, or the standing committee, 
if there be no bishop, shall cite the accused 
minister before the appointed court ; which shall, 
unless the person accused is prevented from at- 
tending by sickness, proceed to trial. Vtvu voce 
evidence only shall be admitted, and that upon 
oath ; and counsel may be employed on both sides. 

5. The second, fourth, and sixth sections of 
the canon entitled "A canon concerning of- 
fences and the mode of proceeding against of- 
fending ministers," is hereby repealed. 

8. A Canon concerning the Appointment and 
Duties of a Standing Committee. 

1. A standing committee, consisting of six 
persons, shall be annually appointed by the Con- 
vention. They shall be considered in office 
from the end of the session of the Convention 
in which they are appointed, and shall continue 
in office until the end of the next annual ses- 
sion of Convention. Any four of them shall 
be a sufficient number to do business. 

2. The standing committee shall have power, 
when there is no bishop of this church settled 
in this state, to call meetings of the Convention 
when they shall think them necessary ; to grant 
testimonials to all persons candidates for parishes, 
and not citizens of this state, who may apply 
for the same ; to make such representations on 
behalf of the church as may from time to time 
be expedient ; to give advice on difficulties pro- 
pounded to them concerning the church during 
the recess of Convention ; to correspond with 
any society or societies of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church in these United States, on any 
matters relating to the church ; and to do all 
other things assigned to them by the rules and 
canons of the Protestant Episcopal Church in 
the United States of America, passed in Gen- 
eral Convention, or in Convention of the said 
church in this state. 

9. A Canon concerning a Treasurer. 

1. There shall be appointed annually by the 
Convention a treasurer of this church in this 
state, who shall be a man of good character and 
responsibility. He shall be removable at the 
pleasure of the Convention, but, unless so re- 
moved, shall continue in office until the end of 
the next annual session of a Convention after 
his appointment. 

2. He shall keep a fair and exact account of 
all moneys received and paid away by him ; and 
shall lay before the Convention annually, or 
oftener if thereto required, a full and accurate 
statement of his accounts. He. shall pay no 
money but by direction of the Convention ; 
and shall in all things relating to his office con- 
form to their orders and regulations. For his 
services he shall he allowed a conipensation of 
five per cent, on all moneys received by him. 



78 



CONVENTION OF 1799. 



10. A Canon rescinding certain Ordinances 
and Cations. 
Whereas a general code of canons for the 
regulation and government of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in this state has been framed 
by this present Convention, all ordinances and 
canons in force prior to the meeting of this Con- 
vention shall be and they are hereby rescinded. 
Provided nevertheless, That nothing in this 
canon shall be construed to affect any rights, 
remedies, forfeitures, or penalties, which have 
accrued, been vested, or incurred, prior to the 
passing of this canon. 



An Address to the Members of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church in Virginia. By Bishop 
Madison. 

Brethren, — It is with an anxious solicitude 
that I undertake to fulfil the request of the late 
Convention of our church. At a crisis so in- 
teresting as the present, the zeal of that body 
must appear highly commendable to you, as well 
as to myself ; for the time has arrived when it 
is no longer a doubt whether every one, who 
has any regard for religion, for morals, for indi- 
vidual and for social happiness, should unite, 
should rouse from their lethargy, and consider 
profoundly the mea-i.s of securing those gieat and 
important objects. They are in jeopardy. That 
dreadful prostration of religious and moral prin- 
ciple, which we everywhere experience, mani- 
fests the awful truth. Religion, the only an- 
chor which holds man to his duties, no longer 
finds that firm ground in which it can inhere ; 
morals, and with them private and public, pres- 
ent and future happiness, are left to the mercy 
of a rude storm, which threatens their destruc- 
tion. Even they who still call themselves 
Christians, have grown cold and languid ; while 
thousands, availing themselves of that languor, 
treat religion as a prejudice which debases the 
human mind ; deride its sacred obligations, and 
exultingly anticipate its obliteration from the 
earth. The success which attends the inde- 
fatigable labours of those apostles of irreligion 
and immorality, in disseminating principles 
which appal the good, cannot be unknown to 
you. To their own consciences, however, let 
the appeal be made. I presume not to address 
them. But to you, brethren, who have not yet 
abjured your God and your Saviour, I address 
myself with confidence ; you, who know that 
good morals can spring only from the bosom of 
religion, and that they are equally essential to 
temporal and eternal happiness. 

The first subject which solicits your atten- 
tion, is the necessity of a strict observance of 
the canons, or laws, which have been enacted 
for the government of our church. These laws 
arise from two sources ; the General Conven- 
tion of the United Episcopal Churches in 
America, and your State Convention ; both 
regularly constituted and authorized by you to 
enact all necessary laws for the above purpose. 
They have done so. They have accomplished 
that work as became faithful and zealous repre- 
sentatives ; and have deposited the result of 



their labours in your hands, as the proper guar- 
dians. Destitute of that coercive power which 
compels obedience to civil laws, the enforce- 
ment of those which you have adopted as a 
Christian society, depends entirely upon your 
virtue. It is strictly a government of choice ; 
a government which is, or should be, the result 
of that noble, disinterested effort, which actuates 
the great and good, when they experience no 
other impulse than that which their own reason, 
their own patriotism, their own generous love 
for man communicates. It supposes a society 
of Christians, governing themselves not by 
those severe penalties which civil laws annex to 
their nonobservance, but by a high and elevated 
sense of duty, by considerations no less im- 
portant than those which are suggested by 
temporal and eternal felicity. It supposes vir- 
tue to be the basis ; and that its members will 
never cease to strengthen that basis, by a daily 
progression in virtue. It supposes men to be 
actuated by a spirit worthy of Christianity : 
sensible, indeed, that no society can exist with- 
out certain laws and rules by which the general 
interest may be regulated and promoted ; but 
cherishing the fond hope that every individual 
will feel it his sacred duty, either to conform to 
them, or voluntarily to aid in the enforcement 
of them. Did men possess that virtue which 
such a social union supposes, were they actu- 
ated by that truly dignified spirit which gave it 
birth, no government could be more prompt or 
certain in its effects. Every one would feel a 
sincere anxietv for the preservation of its laws ; 
obedience, springing from the noblest principle 
of the human soul, would show to men the 
practicability of a government, whose energy 
consisted in the love of its members. Thus 
would be realized that great truth in govern- 
ment, which Christianity desires to impress 
upon the hearts of men : thus, either no viola- 
tions of those rules by which the society re- 
solved to act in concert would arise ; or, if 
they should arise, the execution of that sen- 
tence which the laws had previously pro- 
nounced would inevitably follow. It is true, 
then, that your representatives, either in the 
General or State Conventions, were not pursu- 
ing a chimera when they digested a plan of 
union, and enacted laws by which the church 
should be governed. They did not rest upon the 
aid of civil law, nor did they desire that aid to 
cause their decrees to be enforced. But they did 
confide in vour virtue, in your good sense, in 
your love for religion and your country. It was 
a confidence which you reposed in yourselves. 
And truly, it was a spectacle at which many 
great and good men might well rejoice, when 
they beheld the members of our church, after 
the American revolution had sealed the liberties 
of this western world, instead of repining at the 
loss of those exclusive advantages which had 
long been enjoyed, evincing their consciousness, 
that on themselves alone depended the pros- 
perity of their Zion. Scarce was the voice of 
one of her sons heard to utter ihe language of 
discontent. They immolated with joy those 
exclusive advantages upon the sacred altar of 



CONVENTION OF 1793. 



79 



public Justine. They organized their church, 
adopted rules by which, as a society, they were 
to act in concert, and framed laws for its par- 
ticular government. 

Such were the principles, such the conduct, 
which gave birth to your laws. You still ad- 
mire that self-confidence which suggested the 
idea that we possessed sutticient virtue to gov- 
ern ourselves ; you still acknowledge that, with- 
out the observance of its rules, no society can 
exist ; and you still retain the just conviction 
that, without religion, man degenerates into the 
beast that perishes. Shall I here, then, place 
before your view that situation into which your 
laws have fallen ! Shall I remind you that they 
have become a dead letter ; that they are treated 
as unworthy of your regard ; that there is 
scarcely a parish which conforms to them, or 
even knows the duties which they enjoin 1 
No, brethren ! You are ready to spare me the 
pain which you know must attend so disagreea- 
ble a recital, and yourselves the mortification 
which it would excite in your breasts. To all 
of us, this truth is too impressive not to be 
felt and acknowledged, that, unless the laws 
and the rules which we have adopted for our 
government as a Christian society be strictly 
adhered to and enforced, our church must fall 
the victim of our own apathy. But, in God's 
name, is it possible that the flight of a few 
years has wrought such degeneracy in the sons 
of a church which has for ages been the orna- 
ment and the bulwark of genuine Christianity 1 
Is it possible that we have already experienced 
so violent a recession from those just, wise, and 
virtuous principles which originated our laws, 
as that all attachment to them, all sense of their 
utility, all conviction of the necessity of their 
observance, is eradicated and lost 1 I will not 
indulge a supposition so degrading to us, so 
humiliating to our church, so afflictive to virtue 
and to religion. But I will earnestly and affec- 
tionately exhort you, brethren, to dispel this 
astonishing, this fatal lethargy ; to resume your 
wonted love for your maternal church, that 
church which first nurtured you with the milk 
of the gospel ; and to evince a determination to 
atone for past neglect, by your attention to her 
laws in future. That every difficulty may be 
removed in thus acting, the Convention has 
directed a sufficient number of copies of them 
to be forwarded to each parish. Let, I entreat, 
the vestries become intimately acquainted with 
them, and zealous for their observance ; let 
stated times of reading them to our congrega- 
tions be carefully regarded ; and let ministers, 
vestrymen, every worthy member of the church, 
feel a lively interest in their support. In those 
parishes where there are no vestries duly 
elected, let some friend to our church urge, 
without delay, the duty and the necessity of 
holding an election, and of organizing that es- 
sential part of our ecclesiastical government. 
Let men be chosen whose souls can comprehend 
a general good ; and whose hearts, warmed 
with the love of religion, know how to appre- 
ciate its value. Let such men be the guardians 
of the property of the church ; let them hus- 



band it with an affectionate concern ; let them 
manage it with the same prudence which they 
extend to their private affairs ; and let them not 
despair of obtaining, in due time, holy and vir- 
tuous pastors, whose instructions, admonitions, 
and example, they will love, reverence, and 
follow. 

I proceed to another subject. St. Paul, when 
he visited Athens, observed an altar dedicated 
to ike unknown God. Suppose the holy apostle, 
descending from the mansions of eternal bliss, 
should visit our altars and our temples : to 
whom do you imagine he would think they 
were dedicated ! Not, surely, to that God 
in whom we live, move, and have our hevig, 
and who was made known to us by his messen- 
gers : nor even to the unknown God. No ! 
he would consider them as dedicated, or rather 
devoted, to the demon of ruin ; he would read 
in their dejected, forlorn aspects, the fate which 
threatens them ; and in that fate the degeneracy 
of those who once felt a holy pride in having 
reared them for the service of the living 
God. Ah, brethren ! Is it a melancholy 
truth, that your temples are the just emblems 
of your regard for religion 1 You see them, 
almost everywhere (I thank God there are 
some, exceptions), tottering to their base. Shall 
ruin seize them \ Shall those venerable fabrics 
perish, and leave not a trace of public worship 
among usl It is in vain to urge that our uncer- 
tain tenure of them will not justify the expense 
which their repairs demand. Four of the most 
able jurists, men whose bright talents reflect a 
lustre upon their profession, and even upon their 
country, have not hesitated to declare that your 
title is valid. The integrity of the judiciary will 
then be your shield against every attack. Pro- 
ceed upon this ground ; and while, as good citi- 
zens, you cheerfully acquiesce in those laws 
which the constitution of our country will em- 
brace, and which the public good may require, 
still maintain a sacred regard for your rights as 
men and as members of a Christian society ; 
nor fear a deprivation of them by any exertion 
of power which justice and the universal laws 
of property will not sanction. Hasten, I en- 
treat you, to cause your churches to assume an 
appearance more worthy of adorators of the 
beneficent Parent of the universe ; let them no 
longer present to the astonished eye of every 
good man the miserable garb of exiles or out- 
casts ; let not their silent eloquence plead in 
vain ; but let the love of God and of our holy 
religion open the palm of bounty, and let all vol- 
untarily contribute to their necessities, accord- 
ing to that store with which a kind Providence 
hath blessed him. The vestries will, I trust, 
make every proper arrangement, and conduct 
this good, this necessary work, with a zeal which 
knows how to ensure success. The simplicity 
of our worship requires no pomp or magnifi- 
cence in our buildings appropriated for that pur- 
pose ; but assuredly it is a duty incumbent 
upon us to keep them in decent rpjjair, to guard 
them against the injuries which they must re- 
ceive from time, and particularly from a shame- 
ful exposure to every insult. 



80 



CONVENTION OF 1790. 



This subject is interesting, not only on ac- 
count of the value of the buildings, and their 
convenience for public worship, but also on 
another ground. By an unavoidable associa- 
tion of ideas, men easily transfer to religion 
itself that indifference, that contempt, which 
they see manifested towards one of the means 
of promoting it. It is in vain to say we have 
a just and a sincere regard for religion ; we 
know and we feel its infinite importance to tem- 
poral and eternal felicity ; and at the same time 
permit those buildings, so essential to its dis- 
semination, to exhibit a spectacle at which the 
good and the pious man, of whatever sect he 
may be, must weep. No, brethren ! Your 
very children will not be duped by so shallow a 
pretext. They will draw for themselves that in- 
ference which you will never afterward be able to 
shake. They will be cradled in a contempt for 
religion. Yes ; this atllicting spectacle of an 
object which ought to recall to the infant 
mind, and to the minds even of the aged, the 
awful idea of a God, such as we worship, must 
be fatal to religion and to virtue. 

Let me then, brethren, earnestly exhort you, 
in every parish to which the exhortation will 
apply, and particularly in those parishes where 
there may not be, at present, a stated minister, 
carefully to attend to this important object ; 
and let us evince externally, as well as inter- 
nally, that we have not forsaken the God who 
made us, nor lightly esteemed the rock of our 
salvation. 

This subject calls me to another very nearly 
connected with it ; I mean, the situation of 
your pastors. That some stipend should be 
allowed for their support and that of their fami- 
lies, is obvious. The truth is acknowledged 
by the facility with which a subscription is gen- 
erally obtained ; but, unfortunately for the pastor 
and for religion, the collection too often proves 
another mortifying truth, which I need not de- 
tail. It is not expected, it is not desired, that 
the pastoral office should be burdensome to 
those for whose instruction and benefit it was 
instituted ; but, on the other hand, it can nei- 
ther be expected nor desired by the real friends 
of religion, that the labours of that office should 
receive so uncertain, so precarious a reward, as 
not to afford the necessary support. In the 
present state of society, nothing can be accom- 
plished without pecuniary aid. Your pastors, 
thougli glowing with the zeal of martyrs, though 
animated by the most ardent love for piety and 
virtue, though urged by the strongest sense of 
duty to God and to their Saviour, cannot devote 
themselves to their holy functions, unless they 
know that they may rely upon a certain stipu- 
lated income. No clergyman is so weak as to 
expect to be enriched by his ministerial labours ; 
but every one who discharges his duly with the 
fidelity which becomes his station, and whose 
life is, as it ought to be, a living gospel to his 
parishioners, should in justice receive that 
compensation at least which may enable him 
to continue his utility. It is fortunate for you, 
for themselves, and for society, that to the min- 
isterial office, your pastors generally add the 



office of instructers of youth. In this double 
capacity, they discharge duties the most inter- 
esting. It is certainly in the first period of edu- 
cation that the germe of future greatness is 
either fostered with a genial warmth which en- 
sures its full development, or is bruised, stifled 
perhaps, or deadened, by the murdering hand of 
the instructer. Of what infinite importance, 
then, is it not to parents and to their children, 
to have in their own neighbourhood, or in their 
parishes, schools under the guidance of men 
whose profession and whose duty is the incul- 
cation and the practice of the sublimest moral 
duties, while they are instilling into the infant 
mind the first rudiments of science. Parents 
ought to have the highest security that the pas- 
tor of their church will be the faithful guardian 
of the morals and improvement of their chil- 
dren ; while the vicinity also of the school ena- 
bles parents to superintend the discharge of 
this most important trust. It is true, and I re- 
joice at it, that the pastor frequently derives 
from his labours, as instructer of youth, a rea- 
sonable competence ; but it is no less true, that 
without this auxiliary resource, few could con- 
tinue their ministerial functions. They do not 
find, that they who preach the gospel can hve 
by the gospel, though the Scriptures inform us 
they should. But if this be the case, if it be a 
melancholy truth that the ministers of our 
church do not, as ministers, receive that sup- 
port which their labours merit, or which will 
enable them to continue those labours, the in- 
evitable consequence must be, so soon as this 
generation is passed, that there will be neither 
able pastors of our churches, nor confidential 
pastoral instructers of our children. But, I 
ask, who among us wishes to see the mournful 
period arrive, when the attendants at the altar 
shall no longer be men well instructed, well 
educated in all liberal science ; men whose 
minds, enlarged by true philosophy, and exalted 
by sublime conceptions of the Deity, contain 
within themselves the strongest stimulus to vir- 
tuous action, as well as the surest antidote to 
a grovelling fanaticism, or^a wild and extrava- 
gant enthusiasm, as inconsistent with the gos- 
pel as with reason 1 And yet arrive it must, 
unless the only preventive which the case will 
admit be strenuouslv applied. I exhort you, 
then, adopt in your respective parishes some 
certain mode, by which your pastors may be 
assured of receiving the stipulated support 
which you may find yourselves able and willing 
to give. Let it be moderate, but let it be cer- 
tain. 

It is now no longer admitted to plead disaf- 
fection to the clergyman. He is a man of like 
passions with yourselves. He may prove a re- 
creant in the cause of religion and virtue. If 
such should be the fatal issue ; if he should de- 
part from the strictest adherence to those sa- 
cred duties which his profession enjoins ; if, 
instead of being a light, he should become a 
blot upon our church, the canon passed at our 
last state Convention points out to you the 
mode by which we may, as expeditiously as 
justice will admit, purge off the foul stain. 



CONVENTION OF 1709. 



81 



There still remains another subject which 
ought not to be omitted in this short, but sin- 
cerely afl'cctionate address. 

Certainly, our best reason authorizes the be- 
lief, that the order of the universe was not only 
at first established, but is every moment main- 
tained, by the incessant agency of one Supreme 
Mind. AH the phenomena of this world, and 
of other worlds, so far as we can trace them, 
lead to the necessary conclusion of a presiding, as 
well as a creating God. Nor is it less certain, 
that our perceptions of moral distinctions, the ad- 
monitions of conscience, the irresistible impulse 
which forcps ns to love virtue and to hate vice, 
do all im|)ly a conviction of the moral adminis- 
tration of the universe. Man sees everywhere 
clear indications of a connexion between virtue 
and happiness, to which he must conform if he 
would avoid misery. He sees everywhere a 
system upheld by laws, both physical and moral, 
which never err ; and which, the more they 
are investigated, the more do they evince the 
beneficent design of the Creator. It is thus 
that the mind acquires just ideas of the attri- 
butes of God, and from thence of the relation 
we bear to him. The duties of religion follow 
as a self-evident consequence. If infinite power, 
infinite wisdom, infinite moral excellence be the 
attributes of the Deity, must we not extend to 
him, though in an infinite degree, all those affec- 
tions of veneration, of love, of gratitude and 
confidence, which similar attributes in our fel- 
lovi'-creatures, however vast the difference, never 
fail to excite in the breast of every one who has 
not lost the nature of a man ! Surely the cul- 
tivation of those atTections, the establishment 
of an habitual love and reverence for the Su- 
preme Being, is the first great branch of mo- 
rality ; nor is it possible that the virtue of that 
man can be complete or consistent with itself, 
whose mind is not acted upon, warmed, and 
elevated by these first sentiments of piety, which 
nature and reason so powerfully inculcate ; while, 
on the other hand, it is impossible that exalted 
virtue should not be the offspring of such senti- 
ments, wherever they are received, loved, and 
cherished in all their purity. Can man conceive 
just ideas of a God, can he believe in him as 
the Creator, the protector of whatever exists, 
but particularly as the friend of innocence and 
virtue, and not feel the strongest inducement to 
practise every branch of his duty 1 Will not 
conscience be to him the vicegerent of God] 
Will not its whispers be to him the commands 
of that Being whose government can have no 
other object than the happiness and the perfec- 
tion of his creation 1 Can man extend his 
views still further, and, aided by the combined 
light of reason and revelation, contemplate him- 
self as the heir of immortal life ; can he enter- 
tain a just regard for an eternity of happiness ; 
can he consider the connexion between that 
happiness and virtue as indissoluble ; can he, in 
a word, look intensely forward to a state of fu- 
ture rewards and punishments, and not be urged, 
by the most irresistible motives, to love and to 
practise the purest virtue 1 Who does not see 
that religion thus becomes a species of authori- 



tative law, enforced by the most awful sanc- 
tions, and extending not merely to our actions, 
but to our thoughts ! " In the case of the 
great bulk of mankind," says an able modern 
philosopher, "who are incapable of abstract spec- 
ulation, and whose moral feelings cannot be 
supposed to have received much cultivation, it 
is chiefly this view of religion, which is addressed 
to their hopes and fears, that secures a faithful 
discharge of their social duiies," Let us not, 
then, suppress the truth, that religion, such as 
the blessed Jesus presejits to us, is essential to 
private and to public, to temporal as well as 
eternal felicity. Ah ! had men acted upon 
this truth, had they cherished the spirit of our 
holy religion and obeyed its precepts, instead 
of desolation and misery, in.stead of those bit- 
ter potions of sorrow and wretchedness with 
which ambition and impiety have drenched the 
human race, righteousness atid peace, justice 
and benevolence, would long have flowed as 
mighty streams throughout the earth, gladden- 
ing the nations, and pouring through a thou- 
sand different channels prosperity, happiness, 
and joy. 

But, brethren, if reason, if revelation, if duty 
and interest, if the good order of society, if 
every unbiased sentiment of the human heart, 
if, in short, every consideration the most impor- 
tant to man, thus evinces the high and inestima- 
ble value of religion, it follows, undoubtedly, 
that the abandonment of it must be fatal to 
human happiness. This conclusion follows, or 
vvn should be justified in the expectation of an 
effect when the only cause which can produce 
it is removed. Mliat then is the real fact 1 
Is not religion, I might not confine the question 
to that sincere and ardent love for it which the 
truly virtuous only feel, but is not even the ap- 
pearance of religion almost laid aside, nay, 
scoffed at, by the great bulk of society ! I do 
not think it becomes nic to dissemble this truth, 
terrific as it really is ; nor do I think it neces- 
sary, though the task would not be difficult, to 
investigate the causes which have produced the- 
effect; but I am convinced, deeply convinced, 
that the affirmative cannot be denied. Do not 
our days of public worship manifest this truth 1 
Does not the entire neglect of parents in the 
religious instruction of their children manifest 
this truth 1 Docs not the rapid growth of im- 
morality in general, of profaneness and impiety ; 
do not the beginnings of prodigious crimes ; 
does not that parly rage, which, not content 
with blasting, by slander's envenomed breath, 
the well-earned fame of honesty and worth, but, 
tiger-like, thirsts even for the blood of fellow- 
citizens; do not all these effects demonstrate 
that religion no longer dwells among us ? But, 
indeed, I might save both you and myself the 
trouble of these interrogatories, and ask, whether 
there be a truth more manifest to the minds of 
all, or one, which could be the cause of more 
exultation to many 1 

If such then be our situation, while the im- 
portance of religion is also such as we contend 
for, what remains to be done ? Shall we, with 
folded arms, await the rising tempest which 



82 



CONVENTION OF 1799. 



threatens to shake this guilty land, and to sweep 
with the besom of destruction these fair fabrics 
of human wisdom, the proudest monuments of 
republican virtue ; or shall we raise to Heaven 
the only means which are left of averting the 
impending ruin, and of conducting it silently 
and imperceptibly from us ! Between these 
extremes, a wise man will not hesitate. He 
will seize those means with avidity. He will 
become the sincere and the active friend of 
rational religion ; convinced that it is the only 
foundation upon which good morals, and, con- 
sequently, private, social, and eternal hajjpiness, 
can securely rest. He will see that those pre- 
tended lovers of morality who tear it from 
religion, leave a bleeding trunk and grasp a 
withered bough. He will guard the sacred 
trunk, nourish its roots, protect its branches, 
and once more indulge the delicious hope of 
enjoying the fruits of righteousness and of 
peace. 

But in order that a specific mode may be 
adopted which shall be the most likely to pro- 
duce the effect so devoutly to be wished, the 
revival of a just sense of religion, permit me to 
submit the following to every parish. — Let the 
vestries assemble so soon as it may be conve- 
nient ; and let it then be proposed to enter into 
a solemn engagement with each other, to use 
every exertion to induce a regular attendance at 
church, whenever an opportunity is presented ; 
let them resolve to set the example ; let their 
attendance, with their families, be as constant 
and uniform as possible ; and let each, being 
provided with a prayer-book, join in the service, 
as our church has directed. Let them also use 
all their influence, by reasoning, by persuasion, 
by such exhortations as may be thought most 
proper, to induce tlieir neighbours to adopt and 
to carry into effect the same resolution. Let 
them begin, seriously and heartily, to attend to 
whatever concerns the interest of the church ; 
and, for this purpose, to have regular quarterly 
meetings. If those meetings could be held in 
church, after divine service, I believe it would 
often be found most convenient. Let also every 
respectable and influential character who may 
prefer our church, whether he be a vestryman 
or not, resolve to give his assistance : let all join 
zealously in this good work, and we should soon 
see rational religion to revive among us. I do 
not suppose that any one, who has voluntarily 
undertaken the office of a vestryman, will object 
to what has been here proposed, unless he can 
suggest a better plan to elfect the same purpose ; 
but if any one should, a resignation would be a 
benefit which he could have no reluctance in 
conferring upon religion and the church. 

It will not be objected to this proposal, that 
we might thus have the show of religion, but 
still want the reality. No ! I have a higher 
idea of the attractive charms of religion than to 
believe that they who frequent her courts, and 
who come within the music of her voice, will 
not learn to love her. I know that inattention 
to religion produces indifference, and that indif- 
fflrcnce terminates in irreligion, iti profaneness, 
and impiety ; one effect thus becoming the pro- 



lific parent of other effects the most deadly to 
individual, to domestic, and to social happiness. 
The unnatural state of man is certainly that 
which is diseased and poUutf d with moral tur- 
pitude ; which is rendered loathsome by crimes 
rank and offensive to Heaven and earth. A 
state of religion and of virtue is his only natural 
state. The distinction between the religious 
and the moral man is a cobweb, which may en- 
tangle the sophist himself; but he who loves 
virtue, he who really practises moral duties, 
will never, without some violence offered to his 
nature, fall into the absurdity of neglecting the 
God by whose appointment they are made 
necessary to happiness. We need, then, to 
arrest the progress of irreligion, only assemble 
men once more as Christians ; we need only 
accustom them to worship their God, to hear 
instruction, and to see how amiable his taberna- 
cles are ; they will abandon the unnatural state, 
they will return to that which is so congenial to 
their nature ; they will gradually repent, and 
turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. 
We should behold, in a short time, how great a 
■matter a little fire kindlcth ; we should see the 
love of God and man to warm the breasts of 
fellow-citizens ; we should see a society where 
each might say. We have wronged no man, we 
have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no 
man ; a society in which, instead of being hate- 
ful and hating one another, all bitterness, and 
wrath, and clamour, and evil-speaking, and evil- 
doing, would be put away from us. 

To the soul frozen with apathy, or entirely 
engrossed with its worldly pursuits ; to the man 
who has so long abstracted himself from every 
thought of religion, that it is not possible to find 
even a few of its scattered rays emanating from 
his breast, which we might concentre, and re- 
flect back upon himself in their collected warmth, 
these ideas will appear vain and illusory, perhaps 
extravagant and enthusiastic. Be it so. To 
those who cherish virtue ; who know, from all 
past and present experience, throughout every 
period of civil history, that criminality has 
always advanced in the same proportion as the 
principle of religion has receded ; and that it is 
more easy to recall men to a state which is 
natural to them, and in which their happiness is 
placed by God himself, than to turn them from 
it to one which is unnatural, and consequently 
miserable, to such I address myself with con- 
fidence. From such I hear the animating voice. 
Come, let us make the noble effort ; it is reason, 
it is patriotism, it is our best interest, it is grati- 
tude to our God, which persuades ; let us snatch 
ourselves, our children, our country, from the 
madness of libertinism, from the vortex of im- 
piety and irreligion, and let us revive the reign 
of truth and justice, of peace and righteousness, 
of love to God and man. Let us unite ; let us 
act as fathers, as patriots, and as Christians ; let 
us raise the parent of morality and happiness 
from the dust ; and let us resolve henceforth to 
become her protectors, her guardians, her truly 
sincere and zealous friends. 

Before such sentiments, such resolutions, 
would not every obstacle vanish ' Would they 



CONVENTION OF 1805. 



83 



not disappear, like the light down which the 
wind chaseth from the mountain's topi They 
would. There is not a tongue which is not 
ready to join in the response. See then the 
conclusion. The means are certain ; they are 
within your power ; nay, they invite you to 
hasten to their adoption. If they be not adopt- 
ed, the consequences may be fatal to human 
happiness,. To your consciences, and to your 
God, I leave the decision. If religion, such as 
the wisest and the best of men approve, must 
continue to decline — perish it cannot — nothing 
remains for its real friends but the mantle of 
mourning. I anticipate, however, a far different 
event. Besides the hope of your exertions, a 
ray of consolation seems to break forth from 
another quarter. The cultivation of piety is 
ranked by the most eminent writers among the 
highest duties which a nation owes to itself. 
Perhaps the time may not be far distant, when 
the enhghtcned patriots of this country, m their 
legislative capacities, conscious of this duty, 
" knowing that nothing is so proper as piety to 
strengthen virtue, and to give it its full extent;" 
and preferring the prevention of crimes to the 
multiplication of sanguinary laws ; or the per- 
fection of citizens to their extermination ; will 
bring forward some well-digested plan for the 
security of this great object. Whether a gen- 
eral assessment, upon principles suited to the 
nature of a free government, would not be the 
most happy expedient, and productive of really 
great and extensive public good, is a subject 



well worthy of the most serious consideration of 
every friend to virtue and genuine republicanism. 

To you, reverend brethren, in particular, a 
few words only shall be added. This is the 
season for exertion. You will find, I trust, in 
every parish, many good men, who will gladly 
aid you. Consult with them ; exhort and en- 
courage each other ; unite your zeal with 
theirs, and let not the overflowings of ungod- 
liness deter you from your duty. Extend your 
care Tiot only to your own parish, but to any 
neighbouring parish which may not have a 
minister. Make known to all the laws and 
regulations which govern us as a Christian so- 
ciety ; excite all to a diligent observance of 
them ; and be the first to set the example. Be 
zealous for the glory of our God, walk in all his 
ordinances blameless, and in every thing keep 
a conscience void of offence. Be ever im- 
pressed with this truth, the most important to 
us and to religion, that, to be useful, we must 
he respected ; and to be respected,